81-year-old out for ‘coffee’ leads police on pursuit

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Nancy Strader. Photo via WTSP.
DENTON, TEXAS (WTSP) Nancy Strader, 81, led police on a brief slow-speed pursuit early Thursday morning after two other motorists reported her driving the wrong way on N. Elm Street.

“From what we have been told she had driven around in circles on N. Elm, going the wrong way. She continued to go the wrong direction,” said Ofc. Shane Kizer, Denton Police.

Strader, in her 2015 Jeep, did pull over when police first intercepted her.

“I just want to make sure you’re ok. Unlock the car for me,” said one of the officers who stopped her, according to a copy of body cam video obtained by WFAA.

“During their conversation of trying to get her to exit the vehicle or open the door, she starts to pull forward. They warn her not to drive away. She stops briefly and then she takes off,” explained Kizer.

“I can’t hear you ma’am. Ma’am. Hey. Don’t do it. Don’t. Stop. Stop the car,” the officer said, according to the bodycam.

Strader took off on a slow-speed chase. It never topped 25-miles an hour. Ten minutes later, she stopped again.

Officers got out of their vehicles and darted up to hers, using knives to deflate her tires and immobilize her Jeep.

When Strader refused to roll down the window or open the door, officers used a device to shatter the glass and get her out.

“Nancy, why didn’t you stop?” an officer asked her as she sat on the ground.

“Why should I stop when I’ve done nothing?” she responded, according to the bodycam video. “Why tell me that?”

Police said Strader was not intoxicated and paramedics who checked her blood sugar and vital signs said she appeared fine.

“Why didn’t you just open the door when I knocked on the window back there?” the officer asks again.

“Why? It’s my car?” she said. “My life. My everything.”

“Yeah, but when you are driving the way you are, you’re endangering other lives,” the officer said.

Denton officers never handcuffed the 81-year-old grandmother and appeared to treat her carefully for her age, according to the video.

“She did get annoyed several times, but they were very careful to still show her courtesy throughout the whole traffic stop and the initial arrest,” added Kizer.

Thursday afternoon, her son posted $1,000 bond to get her out of jail.

“I just was out riding around. I thought I’m going to go have me some coffee or a sandwich or something because I hadn’t eaten all day. But I never got it,” Strader told WFAA.

She did get charged with evading arrest. After a 14-hour jail stay, she finally got to go home.

Her family said she does enjoy driving, but plan to have her examined by a doctor.

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