Cape Town - If Hollywood has taught us anything, there are many ways to outrun the cops, from ramping over conveniently placed trucks to speeding through claustrophobic alleyways.
But in a brazen display of escapism, a Cape Town taxi driver has managed to dodge traffic officials simply by going for a dip.
The bizarre car chase started when the city’s Ghost Squad spotted a minibus driving recklessly on the N2 on Wednesday. Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said that the taxi was swerving between the bus lane and on to the right shoulder of the road to overtake the other cars on the national highway.
“Officers put on their blue lights and the siren to try to pull him over.”
But the driver refused to stop. As he rounded on the M5 turn-off, he realised that he was running out of road, said Smith.
He decided to pull over, jumping out of the taxi to continue his escape – leaving 18 angry passengers in the stationary vehicle.
The driver’s run turned into a swim after he dived into the nearby Black River.
City traffic services spokeswoman Maxine Jordaan, who was part of the chase, said she had already taken off her shoes and socks and was ready to jump in and carry on the pursuit.
But after looking into the dark and dirty water, she decided against it.
“He can go get bitten by a snake, I’m not risking it,” she said. “He just stood on the other side of the river shouting: ‘Try and shoot me! Just try!’”
A few seconds later, he ran into a bush and managed to get away.
“We have his car, and his details - I’ll find him,” said Jordaan.
After searching his taxi, officers found that the driver had two double contempt warrants out for his arrest.
His passengers were taken to the Cape Town station deck and his taxi has been impounded.
“With impoundment, the owner must fetch the vehicle, bring the driver along and pay a fee before the vehicle can be released,” said Smith.