Japanese Tourists Lead Police On High-Speed Chase Because They Don’t Understand America

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Apparently the “OJ on the Run: The Bronco Chase” YouTube video has experienced a revival and is becoming somewhat of an Internet sensation over in Japan as of late. So much so, that there are reports of Japanese people trying to emulate it and film their own YouTube bit to one-up The Juice. The trend has even made its way overseas to America–an out of control incident took place during the weekend in Utah, of all places.

Just kidding, there isn’t really a good reason why this police chase happened, at least not one other than, “Sometimes Japanese people have trouble understanding how American roads work.”

Here’s how the chase unfolded, according to ABC News:

The pursuit began at 1 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 15 near the Utah-Arizona border when the couple’s car was spotted going just 37 mph and swerving between lanes, said Lt. Brad Horne, Utah Highway Patrol’s DUI unit commander.

More than a dozen patrolmen were working the area in a special DUI operation, and Horne said he figured the car was being driven by a drunken driver. Horne turned on his lights and siren to pull the car over.

Okay, that’s all pretty routine. Sounds like the cop definitely had a reason to pull over the vehicle. Just another night on the job, right?

Of course not.

Instead of pulling over, the driver sped up to 75 mph and began driving erratically, he said. Her speeds fluctuated between 40 and 75 mph as she weaved across lanes and into the shoulder.

Soon, there were three patrol cars in pursuit with other officers closing highway offramps and setting tire spikes miles ahead, Horne said.

“It was literally red and blue lights in every direction,” Horne said.

The couple’s car skidded to a stop about 7 miles north of where the pursuit began after three of the tires deflated after hitting the spikes.

A patrolmen bellowed commands from a loudspeaker in his patrol car, telling the couple to exit and walk backward. Both directions of I-15 were closed as officers prepared to encounter hardened criminals.

Instead, a Japanese woman in her early 40s emerged.

I lost it when I got to that point reading the original article. Somewhere, John Rocker is feeling vindicated.

Just having the mental image of a little Japanese lady driving slow and erratically–it’s not like something you see every day. Then she just turns it up a notch when the cops get on her tail as she goes full-out OJ and jumps on it…for seven miles. I feel like you’re totally okay with the fact that you’re going to spend a decent amount of time in the slammer after the first quarter of a mile.

Add in the fact that it took THREE of her tires to blow before she actually stopped. Those are some Grand Theft Auto moves right there.

So, what happened next?

“She would walk forward, backward, spin around — obviously she had no clue what we wanted her to do,” Horne said.

Still bracing for the worst, officers approached the car with guns drawn and pulled the woman and a man from the car. That’s when they saw the couple’s 7-year-old son in the backseat and realized the family didn’t speak English.

The boy was crying, and the parents appeared nervous and confused, Horne said.

“I think they were terrified,” he said.

At this point, I’m not sure whether there was an actual lack of intercultural communication skills on the part of the Japanese family, or if they’re just really good actors.

I mean, how do they pull people over in Japan, right? I thought flashing lights in your rearview were the universal symbol for pull the fuck over NOW.

Apparently, Utah Highway Patrol gave them the benefit of the doubt.

Realizing they were dealing with language and cultural barriers, and not a drunken driver or fugitive, officers changed their strategy, Horne said. One officer consoled the boy and reunited him with his parents as others worked to get a Japanese-speaking officer on the phone.

They found one in northern Utah who spoke to the couple and learned they had arrived from Japan on Friday morning and rented a car to drive from California to Bryce Canyon in southern Utah.

The woman said she had no idea what she was supposed to do when the patrolman put on his lights and siren, so she sped up to get out of the way. She kept apologizing for crashing the car, not realizing they ran over tire spikes, Horne said.

Patrolmen took the family to a motel and wished them safe travels.

“No officer, I didn’t even realize I have THREE flat tires. Didn’t see the sparks or anything.”

Talk about getting off lucky. Apparently, no charges are being filed despite the fact that the couple didn’t even have their Japanese-issued driving licenses either. Who even rented them a car?!

You think they were like, “Let’s take a trip to America and learn to drive a car for the first time?”

Lieutenant Horne put it best.

“Red and blue lights are a pretty universal signal,” Horne said. “Regardless of nationality and language, when we put lights on, people pull over and stop.”

Maybe they really were just trying to pull their best OJ impression.

[via ABC News]

Ashley Schaeffer is a senior contributing writer for Total Frat Move. If you thought he was a woman, he'll take that as a compliment, because he loves women. Wooh. He's proud to hold two degrees from Penn State, and certainly contributed to the university's reputable rankings in the party school category during his time there. He's even more proud to anchor the TFM News team. Feel free to hit up his pager or drop an email (SchaefferTFM@gmail.com) with any warranted leads, or just to shoot the breeze about Philly sports. In the meantime, drop by his dealership for great deals on gently used BMW's.

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