Police are hunting a man who allegedly rammed a Mercedes into a police car at Lake Macquarie on Monday before dumping the vehicle and making an escape in a ute.
Investigators believe Adam Gilham, 27, can help police with their inquiries into the pursuit and ramming, which was initially believed to have developed into a carjacking.
Officers began pursuing a Mercedes about 2.30pm after the driver failed to stop on Regents Street at Bonnells Bay.
But they terminated the chase a short time later because of safety concerns at Fishery Point Road, after the man allegedly crashed the Mercedes into the police vehicle.
Neither of the officers were injured.
Police then saw the man abandon the Mercedes before he got into a white Toyota Hilux ute and left the area.
Given the driver was still in the ute at the time, police initially believed the chase had turned into a case of carjacking.
But the Newcastle Herald understands investigators tracked down the Hilux at a Cooranbong home about 5.30pm, where they found the driver who had been feared taken.
Lake Macquarie Police District commander Superintendent Danny Sullivan told the Herald on Monday evening the Hilux driver, aged in his 20s, was assisting police with their inquiries.
"Based on eye witness reports at the time, we obviously treated that at its highest level," Superintendent Sullivan said.
During the search, the police helicopter and dog squad was enlisted, with the ute last seen on Grand Parade at Bonnells Bay about 2.40pm.
Police were continuing their search for Mr Gilham on Monday evening.
He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, with short dark hair and a medium build.
They are urging anyone who sees him to call triple zero - and not to approach him.
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