A stolen bus, an hour-long chase, an injured constable and five damaged vehicles - all ingredients of a cop chase from a potboiler. But four traffic policemen experienced it all in real life while chasing a thief on Monday.
Vijay Thapa, 27, a Nepal immigrant, was arrested and handed over to the Andheri police for allegedly attempting to steal a private bus. The police suspect that Thapa may have taken drugs. His medical report is awaited.
According to the police, at 6pm on Monday, Thapa used a duplicate key to unlock a parked bus at Teli Galli near Saiwada junction in Andheri (East).
"Thapa sped towards Gold Spot junction, honking constantly. Traffic constables posted there noticed the speeding bus and signaled him to stop. Panicking, Thapa grazed an autorickshaw and a car, but he continued to speed," said Suresh Bhoye, sub-inspector, Andheri police station.
When Thapa did not pay heed to their warning, four constables started chasing the bus, which was headed north-bound on the Western Express Highway.
Constable Santosh Kadam, 40, overtook the bus and stopped his bike in its path. But when he realised that Thapa was not about to stop, Kadam jumped off the bike, sustaining minor injuries on his chin, hands and legs.
A speeding Thapa ran over the bike, which was dragged under the wheels of the bus for a few metres. "The others constables rushed to Kadam's aid and asked him to go to a hospital, but he insisted on catching Thapa," said Jagdish, the constable's brother.
Kadam then hopped onto a fellow constable's bike and they resumed their chase.
Meanwhile, Thapa, who had turned towards the BMW junction at Andheri (West), had to slow down because of traffic snarls. He rammed two more vehicles before coming to a stop.
The policemen reached the spot and tried to drag him out of the bus. However, Thapa began to assault them. Onlookers overpowered the driver and handed him over to the Andheri police.
Thapa has been booked for theft, rash driving on a public way, assaulting a public servant and causing damage, under relevant sections of the IPC and Motor Vehicles Act. "We are checking whether he has any other cases against him. We are probing how he got a duplicate key to the bus," Bhoye said.