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Police use helicopter to track fugitive after he rams past Oakland deputies

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Lyon Township — It took a helicopter in Oakland County to locate and arrest a fugitive first located at a south Oakland County gas station before the driver rammed past police and fled.

At about 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, the fugitive apprehension team of the Oakland County Sheriff's Office spotted a black Ford Contour they were seeking pulling into a Shell gas station on the 20700 block of Pontiac Trail at Eight Mile in Lyon Township, police said in a statement. 

The driver went inside the gas station, and when he returned to the vehicle, police confirmed his identity.

"With their emergency lights activated," the statement says, police tried to box the man in.

But the driver put the Contour into reverse and hit one of the undercover police cars. A second detective tried to block the car's path, but the driver sped up and hit the vehicle on its driver side. With that vehicle out of the way, the vehicle sped off, going west on Eight Mile.

Police gave chase, but pulled back due to poor road conditions.

The vehicle then started traveling east on Eight Mile.

That's when police called in the aviation unit to look for the car.

Authorities tracked the vehicle to the Novi Meadows mobile home community, on the 500 block of Eckschtay, which is south of 12 Mile and east of Napier. That's about 8.5 miles north and east from the site of the gas station.

Police say the suspect, 39, abandoned his vehicle nearby. He was arrested at the home without further incident. 

The fugitive was wanted on a three-count warrant for sexual assault in South Lyon and a warrant for assault with intent to do great bodily harm in west Michigan and, as a result of Tuesday morning's incident, felonious assault with a motor vehicle.

Police say there is no video from either the gas station or the undercover police vehicles.