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Suspect Leads Officers On Pursuit From Northeast Philadelphia To Delaware County

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Authorities are searching for a man who led officers on a long-winding pursuit from Northeast Philadelphia to Delaware County Monday night. Police stress this was not a chase or even really a pursuit. They trailed this driver mile after mile not sure what they had.

It all began at 8:27 p.m. Monday when police first noticed sparks flying from the vehicle's wheel on the interstate.

Philadelphia police terminated the search at the city's border and then Pennsylvania State Police continued to trail into Delaware County.

On Monday night, the driver behind the wheel of this sparking SUV led police for miles along two interstate highways.

We've learned a Philadelphia police officer in the 15th District first noticed the rear tire was missing with sparks showering out from the wheel.

Police held back for most of the ride.

Their involvement with the driver began in North Philadelphia and went on for dozens of miles.

Headed south past the Ben Franklin and Walt Whitman Bridges, eventually making it to the Sports Complex and then over the Girard Point Bridge. They continued by Philadelphia International and then into Delaware County.

Once in Ridley, the driver bailed I-95 and headed up the Blue Route. Another dozen miles to go, he exited at Villanova/Saint David's and then hopped out of the SUV and into some woods.

Joe Sullivan is the former deputy commissioner for the Philadelphia Police Department.

"It was a very difficult situation when he ran into that thick brush because the officers really had to be careful how they approach following him. They don't know whether he's armed or whether he represents a danger to them," Sullivan said.

While the search was continuing, even rail traffic in the area was disrupted.

Amtrak tweeted a warning that train 657 was stalled while police searched along the tracks in Radnor.

There was no sign of the driver.

Sullivan says, while tense, the incident was well handled.

"You turn off the lights and you turn off the sirens and you give the person distance and it no longer becomes a pursuit," Sullivan said.

There were no injuries.

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