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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The SABLE helicopter was hard at work last night chasing a drunk driver trying to evade police.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the Wilmington Police Department tried to stop the vehicle earlier in the day, but without success.

After relocating the vehicle around 10:15 p.m. Monday night, officers on the ground took a step back fearing danger to themselves as well as any pedestrians who could possibly be involved in the chase.

“Because of the sound judgement of the supervisors on the street and the sable tool we were able to save lives and property,” WPD Capt. Marshall Williamson said.

Police say video from the chopper’s camera system shows Paul Brian Schaller speeding, running stop lights and signs and going the wrong way on one way streets, including South 17th Street, Dawson Street and Wooster Streets, nearly causing a few accidents along the way.

“They’re continuing to call out to the ground troops the location of the vehicle,” Williamson said as he described the video. “At some point toward the end of the pursuit the vehicle operator drove the vehicle to the area of Russell’s Alley.”

Near the end of the chase, Schaller tried to hide the vehicle and himself, but it was too little too late, as SABLE directed ground units to the suspect.

“The driver of the Mustang tried to hide the car. The ground troops were able to come in and take the subject into custody without further incident,” Williamson said.

Schaller is charged him with DWI and felony speeding to elude arrest. He is in the New Hanover County Jail under a $20,000 secured bond.


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