A 61-year-old man driving a Ford Transit Van led Ocean City and Delaware police agencies on a 40+ minute 18-mile chase from downtown O.C. ending on Coastal Highway at the Preserve north of Bethany. The suspect, identified by Lindsay Richard, OCPD spokeswoman, as Michael Gallahad, of New York, NY, racked up 27 traffic citations for various offenses just from O.C. police.
The chase started before 1 a.m. Saturday, Richard says, when officers witnessed the van driving erratically in the Inlet Lot. Officers attempted to stop Gallahad, however, he exited the Inlet Lot onto South 2nd Street, she said. At South 1st Street, Gallahad drove onto the boardwalk causing several pedestrians to run for their lives. He continued to drive north on the boardwalk until exiting the boardwalk at North Division Street. Amazingly, no pedestrians were injured, Richard added. Gallahad then drove north on Baltimore Avenue and continued onto Coastal Highway at 33rd Street driving erratically at speeds up to 60 m.p.h. at times. Officers continued to follow him as he kept driving through Ocean City and into Delaware.
At several points during the chase, police deployed Stop Sticks, which were successful at not only flattening his tires, but also several police vehicles. Chunks of tire tread continued to wear from the van as Gallahad headed farther north into Delaware, causing his speeds to drop lower and lower until he was running on rims only. Police continued to follow him at about 35 m.p.h. until his van became disabled around 1:30 a.m. on Coastal Highway at the Preserve which is just north of Bethany Beach. He was arrested without further incident and taken to Beebe Hospital. He may also face charges in Delaware.