Police Chase Suspect Speaks Out From Jail

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Police in Estill and Madison County say they tried to pull over James Cahal because he was driving drunk.
Today James Cahal talks to 27 NEWSFIRST from jail about what he says really happened.

"It all happened really fast," James Cahal says.

What started as a trip to see an ex-girlfriend in Estill County quickly took a wrong turn for 43-year-old James "Phil" Cahal.

He says it all started with a disagreement.

"Just a few words. Not really an argument, just a few words," says James Cahal.

Cahal left the woman's home to return to Richmond, and says when he saw a police car he knew he was in trouble.

That's because the Estill County Sheriff's Department got a call from his ex of a domestic violence situation and with a tip that Cahal had been drinking all day and then driving, which he denies.

"I had maybe 2 or 3 beers that morning...that was at 11:00, this was 3:00 in the day," says Cahal.

James Cahal says at that point, he knew he was going to jail, so when police tried to stop him he just kept driving, trying to at least get his car home and leading police on a 30 mile chase.

"I know if I had stopped, things would be a lot simpler and not so many people involved, I know I wouldn't have all these charges now," says Cahal.

Cahal also says he wouldn't have any injuries. He claims he was the one hit by police cruisers while driving, and by the officers once he stopped his car to turn himself in.

"I made a wrong decision at the time to keep going, but I paid for that when they stopped me, with the beating, cussing, spraying of mace, with being tased after I was in the back of the cruiser," says Cahal.

Cahal is now behind bars at the Madison County Detention Center facing 14 charges, including speeding, resisting arrest, DUI, and wanton endangerment, among others.

Police agencies involved in the chase do say they used pepper spray on Cahal to get him into a cruiser. They didn't comment about any other use of force. They did say he hit their cruisers during the chase.

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