The 911 call came in: A speeding car was swerving from shoulder to shoulder and almost hit a bridge just north of Des Moines, Iowa.
So a Polk County Sheriff’s Department deputy and a state trooper went into action and located the vehicle, KCCI-TV in Des Moines reported — but at that point the driver sped up to about 80 mph and crossed into lanes of oncoming traffic.
But something was odd about Sunday evening’s incident, all caught on sheriff’s dashcam video: “It didn’t seem to be someone actually fleeing from an officer or deputy, didn’t seem like that type of driving,” Sheriff’s Lt. Jana Abens told KCCI.
Abens added that the trooper and deputy “both thought, ‘we need to think outside the box here and figure how we can get this vehicle stopped.’”
The situation grew dire. The car that authorities narrowly missed several oncoming vehicles as it raced down the wrong side of the road.
Finally the two officers got their patrol cars in front of and behind the vehicle, forcing the driver — identified as 24-year-old Steven Schulte — to stop.
But authorities said Schulte didn’t respond to officers’ commands to exit the vehicle.
“They just sort of received a blank stare,” Abens said.
She added to KCCI hat Schulte seemed incoherent, as if he wasn’t comprehending what was being asked of him and “just kind of sat in the driver’s seat without moving.”
With Schulte remaining unresponsive, the officers — with their weapons drawn — are seen on the dashcam clip pulling out their batons and breaking the driver and passenger windows with them in order to gain access to the driver.
The Reserve Deputy Troy Cline, whom KCCI said is a volunteer with the sheriff’s department, is then seen accidentally firing his weapon into the passenger side door as he was reholstering it. No one was injured, the station reported.
Cline’s action was “completely unintentional” and “definitely wasn’t something he meant to do,” Abens said
Schulte was taken into custody transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, presumably unrelated to the deputy’s accidental weapon firing.
As for what started this all, authorities said Schulte was apparently suffering from a medical issue during the chase.
The nature of the medical issue was not disclosed.
KCCI said in its video report that Cline (the deputy) was still part of the sheriff’s department but officials are investigating to determine if any discipline is warranted.
In the end, we’re not sure what’s the craziest part of the story: the dashcam video, the accidentally discharge of the firearm or the fact that this all happened for a reason you probably wouldn’t expect.