By: Amy Kauffman, News on 6
TULSA, Oklahoma – The Tulsa Police Department is searching for those who they say threw rocks at officers during a late-night police chase.
The suspect who led police on a chase across Tulsa for nearly a half hour Thursday night is facing charges.
Police believe he’s the one who organized a mob to show up when police pulled him over.
“It really heightened the situation where it didn’t need to go,” said Sergeant Shane Tuell.
Police said Brian Stanberry led police on a chase Thursday night near 61st and Peoria before driving into Savannah Landing Apartment Complex.
Officers said he was on his phone during the entire 30-minute chase.
“He called some individuals to come out and have a welcoming party for the police department,” Tuell said.
Tuell said there were more than 50 people gathered when officers arrived.
A small group of them started throwing rocks.
“We did get some cars hit, we did get an officer hit,” Tuell said.
At one point, officers even had to use pepper balls to keep the mob back.
“We hope it never happens and we are kind of prepared for it but we’ve never had it escalate to the point where we are in fear of getting our vehicles trashed or things like that,” Tuell said.
Officers are trained to handle large groups, but Sargent Tuell said it can be difficult.
“When you conduct a car stop you are very very aware of what dangers or issues you may have to face within that car and now we have external issues that happened,” Tuell said.
Officers are urging people to hang up the phone during a traffic stop.
“Someone could be calling a friend to aid them and we don’t want to take that chance,” Tuell said.
Tuell said luckily Tulsa police don’t deal with incidences like this often, but they hope more people will stand with them as they do their job.
“We are there to protect and serve. Bottom line,” Tuell said.
Police arrested Brian Stanberry for eluding police and inciting a riot.
They said they also plan to pursue charges against the people who threw rocks, hitting one officer and some police cars.
If you have any information on this case, call CrimeStoppers.