Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Two Danish Police Officers in Unmarked Cars Chase Each Other

The Keystone Cops

The Keystone Cops

In a car-chase all too reminiscent of a scene from a silent movie about the Keystone Cops, two Danish police officers in unmarked cars engaged in a wild chase through the city of Copenhagen, which might’ve been okay, except that they were chasing each other.

The officers appeared in court this week to face charges in connection with a bizarre high-speed chase that took place on January 27, 2013, in which the two on-duty, plain-clothes officers, each driving an unmarked police car, mistook the other for a civilian breaking the law.

The whole thing began when one officer saw the other speeding. Torben Koch, a lawyer for one of the officers, told Ekstra Bladet newspaper, “He takes off after him thinking that he is a criminal, and the man in the front car thinks that the man is chasing him out of harassment. They are both in civilian clothes, driving unmarked cars, and neither can see it is a fellow officer.”

According to the indictment the chase continued without police lights or sirens, at speeds above the limit, through red lights, onto the shoulder, the medians and even in bicycle lanes, as they sped past other cars that had to veer to avoid them. The chase ended when the pursuing officer rammed the other’s car into a third vehicle.

No one was hurt, but one cyclist was thrown from his bike.

Prosecutors are charging the officers with seriously endangering traffic safety. The officers are due back in court on September 25.

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