It looks like any sort of violent, dangerous, or downright rowdy behavior these days is being compared to Grand Theft Auto – and it seems the offender doesn’t necessarily have to play GTA in order to do so!
This car chase happened earlier this summer (note: long before the release of Grand Theft Auto V) on July 5 and the footage is taken from an undercover Hong Kong police car, which was recently uploaded by Chinese news site, Next Media:
It features the dashcam footage of the police car chasing the 33-year-old Chu, who is seen driving a white Lexus with his girlfriend, a woman from mainland China on Visitor status, as his only passenger. Chu works in Hong Kong in logistics, and has quite a colorful police record ranging from illegal car racing, assault against police, and property damage. He was found driving while on a suspended licence, without car insurance, and an invalid licence plate.
The original story of the incident refers to Hong Kong’s brand new automatic licence plate scan system that had just been installed the previous month, and was just initiated for the first time at 12pm on July 5. The system was what allowed the officers to notice that Chu’s Lexus had an expired plate. When the four officers in the unmarked car (specifically used to catch speeders and car racers) tried to pull him over, Chu took off, prompting the officers to chase him through city traffic in a long, drawn-out 20 minute car chase.
As can be seen in the video, the car cuts through several lanes and weaves through traffic, driving at speeds of about 100km/hr through narrow city streets–all while the officer can be heard yelling for him to pull over, and calling for backup in the area.
At the end of the chase, Chu hit a dead-end and attempted a U-turn, but was blocked by a pedestrian van. It was at this point that the police car caught up. Two of the officers stepped out to approach the vehicle.
Undaunted, the 33-year-old Chu accelerated, with apparent intentions of driving straight towards the approaching policemen. Seeing this, the other two officers drew their sidearms.
At the sight of the weapons, he turned off his car and followed the police officers’ instructions, getting out of the car and submitting to arrest, while his girlfriend cried hysterically.
As backup began arriving, the police began their investigation. In the Lexus’s trunk they found four licence plates, initially thought to be fakes. Only after further investigation did they find that all 4 licence plates actually belonged to Chu. He’s just a man who happens to own five cars. The rest of the trunk contained nothing overly suspicious: an umbrella, a bike chain, and miscellaneous odds and ends.
When given a breathalyzer test, Chu was found to have traces of (unnamed) drugs in his system. At the time of writing of the original news article, the case was still being followed up by the 沙田 (Sha Tin) district police station.
It is only in the newest piece accompanying the dashcam footage on October 4 that Next Media relates the entire situation to Grand Theft Auto.
This is most likely due to how low the dashcam is which does occasionally give the appearance of a third-person view during driving sequences. To their credit, Next Media never actively blames the manic driving on GTA, but rather relates the experience to it.
What do you think?
In this case, I’m of the opinion that the relation is at least partially justified. For one, it is a much more harmless statement compared to the outright blame GTA V and even Minecraft has been receiving lately in connection with real-life violence. And second, we really do drive just that crazily in video games – a way in which the majority of us never will in real life, even under any circumstance.
Now, does this relate to GTA specifically? This, I do not believe. A car chase in Hong Kong certainly hearkens more to Sleeping Dogs than GTA to me, although the situation itself involving a car chase and attempted escape through a police car blockade? Definitely Need for Speed territory. At this point though, the title’s just semantics, isn’t it?
(Thanks for most of the translation goes to my mother, who is perfectly okay with translating an entire piece line by line for me while her cup of tea cools.)