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Driver Hits Police Bicycle, Runs 25 Stop Signs in Chase, Prosecutors Say

 Christine Nielsen, 45, ran 25 stop signs and eight red lights, according to prosecutors.
Christine Nielsen, 45, ran 25 stop signs and eight red lights, according to prosecutors.
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COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — When bike police tried to pull over a car Wednesday, the driver sped off — blowing through 25 stop signs and eight red lights as she led officers on a 4½-mile chase, prosecutors said.

Around 10 p.m. Wednesday, two Chicago Police officers on bikes pulled over a 1994 Dodge Colt that failed to stop at a stop sign in the 1800 block of North Luna Avenue, according to an arrest report.

The driver, who police later identified as 45-year-old Christine Nielsen, stopped momentarily. But when one of the officers walked up to Nielsen's window to ask for her license and proof of insurance, Nielsen floored it — striking one of the officer's bicycles as she sped off, the report said.

The officers called for backup, and a squad car began to follow Nielsen, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a bond hearing Thursday.

Nielsen ran 25 stop signs and eight red lights as she drove 4½ miles west and eventually crashed in suburban Melrose Park, Scaduto said.

According to court records, Nielsen turned off her lights and was driving 21 miles over the speed limit during part of the chase.

After she was arrested, Nielsen told police that she sped away because she thought she was being followed after she dropped off her friend that evening, Scaduto said. Nielsen later told police she thought there was a warrant for her arrest, and, finally, that she ran for no reason.

Nielsen, who lives in suburban Glendale Heights, was charged with assault to a peace officer, aggravated fleeing and disregarding a stop sign.

Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas said Nielsen could be released on her own recognizance if the Cook County Sheriff's Department provided electronic monitoring.

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