Undercover drug investigation leads to wild chase in Niles Township

NILES TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Two Berrien Springs men are locked up after leading police on a wild chase through yards, fields, woods and into a swimming pool on Monday night.

According to information released by the Niles Police Department on Friday, Norfleet Powers and Keith Matthews allegedly sold crack cocaine to an undercover officer around 6 p.m. on Bond Street near US-12.  When cops moved in to arrest the two men they sped away in their 2001 Grand Prix.  After about two-miles Powers, the driver, took the car off road and through nearby yards and fields in the neighborhoods around the 200-block of Mark Street.

"A friend of mine that was back there weeding for us said he'd seen car just flew through the front yard,” described Robert Grice, who lives on Mark Street.  “It's like, what?"

The car slammed through two fences and a pine tree before speeding across Grice’s front yard.

"According to my friend he said it was like a flash,” Grice explained.  “So they must have been running 60, 70 miles per hour."

The suspect car slammed into a line of trees at the corner of Grice’s yard.  Police say both Powers and Matthews jumped out and continued running further into nearby yards, running into and then climbing over fences.

“I was actually sitting at the computer, I wasn’t even looking out the dining room window, noticed from the side just two guys running,” described Kathleen Davis, who lives on the 200-block of Green Gable Road.  "They apparently jumped the fence, came running into the backyard, and thought they could hide in the pool for whatever reason, jumped into the pool, maybe figured that wasn't a good hiding spot."

Then, the Davis’s guessed, Powers and Matthews hopped out of the pool and tried to hide under the deck surrounding the pool.  By that time police were approaching and the two men took off running again, and smacked straight into a fence before finally being caught.

"That (hitting the fence) is must've been where they got cut up because when I saw them being led to the cop cars they were muddy and bloody,” Kathleen Davis described.  “Their clothes were torn."

Thankfully no bystanders were hurt during the chase.

Norfleet Powers and Keith Matthews are both in the Berrien County Jail on drug and resisting arrest charges.  Powers bond has been set at $50,000, Matthews has been set at $10,000.

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