CHICAGO — Piloting a white Dodge Challenger SRT, he practically begs Chicago police officers and Illinois State Police troopers to pull him over. When they do try, he compliantly rolls to a stop—sometimes—then jets away as the cops step out of their squad car to approach him.
And when the cops don’t try, he almost sounds disappointed.
“He ain’t even gonna pull me over, gang. He not even gonna pull me over, bro,” the driver pouts as an unmarked squad car moseys by.
With the squad sitting a couple of lanes over at a red light, the driver steps out of his sports car and walks to the trunk, lowering his phone camera to reveal his license plate. It’s a custom-made placard bearing his Instagram handle and a warning for cops: “DON’T CHASE BOY.”
On Instagram, accompanied by hashtags like #highspeedchase, #comegetme, #willrun, and #dontchaseboys, UnknownDriver762 posts video highlights of failed police pursuits, successful stunts, and clips he receives from fans who spot him on the street.
For added drama, there’s a camera mounted on a pole on the Challenger’s trunk. It rotates to give exterior views of the action. Here are some highlights to give you a taste of what he’s all about (NSFW language):
In this video, the driver pulls over for a state trooper, then bolts away, hitting 116 mph.
In another, he rockets away from a Chicago police unit, hitting 90 mph on a surface street and bolting through a red light (NSFW language):
Whoever he is, the Unknown Driver seems acutely aware that he can do just about anything behind the wheel, and Chicago cops won’t pursue him.
The Chicago Police Department introduced a new vehicle pursuit policy in August 2020. That order provides officers with 11 pages of instructions that they must consider when deciding if a vehicle should be pursued.
The order specifically prohibits Chicago officers from pursuing anyone for a traffic offense other than DUI. And it states explicitly that CPD will not discipline any member for ending a motor vehicle pursuit. If they continue a pursuit, though, they’ll be held responsible for anything that goes wrong.
Chicago has paid out tens of millions of dollars for lives lost and injuries caused by pursuits that ended with crashes. CPD supervisors have become so skittish about the possibility of something going wrong, they’ve ordered cops to stop pursuing a car suspected of carrying wanted murderers.
In observance of the policy, cops downtown decided not to pursue a stolen BMW wanted for a series of armed robberies last May. Within an hour of that decision, men who emerged from the BMW shot and robbed Dakotah Earley in Lincoln Park.
But state police troopers are given more leeway and often take the lead when cops spot a hijacked car in traffic, or someone wanted for another serious crime.
That’s not to say that the Unknown Driver will escape forever. State police and Chicago air units have proven to be highly effective trackers of wanted vehicles. The city’s two helicopters, which it shares with the sheriff’s office, are frequently down for maintenance or due to weather, giving many offenders a chance to drive away and avoid arrest.
That could be changing soon. Late last year, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved money to buy a helicopter for the sheriff’s office. And the Chicago City Council approved funding for two new CPD helicopters.
If everything goes as planned, the new sheriff’s office helicopter should be operational by late summer or early fall.
Even after the new equipment is in place, the number of air units patrolling the city and county will pale in comparison to the Los Angeles area, which has 35 police helicopters, and the New York City Police Department, which is increasing its fleet from seven to nine, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.