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Clinton Township — What started as a routine traffic stop turned into a hairy scary chase of a stolen car that ended when the 16-year-old driver dumped it into the Clinton River and then tried to swim away.

A video released by the Macomb County Sheriff's Department shows the stolen Chevrolet Impala driving into ditches, across lawns, through gas stations and over mailboxes as sparks flew and tires shredded on the vehicle.

No one was injured in the chase, which began at about 5:20 a.m. on Thursday when a deputy observed the Impala swerve off the road and nearly strike a pedestrian on Joy Boulevard.

When the deputy attempted to stop the car, the driver fled at a high rate of speed. During the more than six-minute chase, the fleeing car drove over lawns, mowed down mailboxes, plowed through two ditches, sped through residential neighborhoods and zipped through a gas station.

At times, sparks flew from the car as it struck obstacles and a huge chunk of rubber catapulted from one of the shredded tires. Oddly enough, the driver often signaled when he made illegal lane changes.

The chase ended when the teenager, a resident of Macomb Township, drove the car down a dead end street past a "road ends" sign and into the Clinton River.

As deputies swarmed to the scene, the driver dove into the water and swam across the river where he attempted to hide. Deputies located him and had to use an "electrical device" to bring him into custody.

The juvenile has been charged with larceny in a building, possession of marijuana, felonious assault, unlawfully driving away an auto, fleeing and eluding and resisting and obstructing arrest.

The matter will be prosecuted in the Macomb County Juvenile Court.

TGreenwood@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2023

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