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Police use SABLE helicopter to catch dangerous driver

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — At about 8:00 p.m. on Monday night, WPD officers attempted to stop a vehicle in the Queen Street area, but the driver refused to stop. The man was driving so recklessly that Officers elected not to pursue him, fearing danger to themselves, as well as to motorists and pedestrians who may have been unwittingly involved in the incident.

Around 10:15 p.m., the car was spotted again, and this time officers initiated pursuit, based on the earlier violations and the knowledge that NHCSO also had attempted to stop the vehicle earlier in day (Monday morning). Officers kept the car in sight until SABLE 1 arrived in the area.

The SABLE 1 flight crew kept sight of the car and called out locations, thus enabling officers on the ground to stay out of a very dangerous pursuit.

The SABLE crew used the aircraft camera system and observed the fleeing car traveling a high rate of speed, running stop lights and signs, and going the wrong way on S. 17th Street, Dawson Street and Wooster Streets. They tracked the car from the air until it stopped on Russell Alley and the driver attempted to hide. SABLE directed multiple ground units and K-9 to the suspect’s location, where he was taken into custody.

Paul Brian Schaller, d.o.b. 6-9-1970, was arrested and charged with multiple counts, including DWI and Felony Speeding to Elude Arrest. He is in custody at the New Hanover County detention facility under $20,000 secured bond.

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