DAYTON, Oh. – Two children are dead and 10 more people are being treated for injuries after a suspect stole and crashed a police SUV while fleeing officers in Ohio on Monday evening.
WHIO reported that it all began when police responded to the call of a woman who was reportedly stabbed on Xenia Avenue in Dayton just after 7 p.m. Shortly after heading to that area, units received another call for a vehicle crash nearby.
When they responded, they were in for a bigger threat than they knew. The first officer on the scene saw a man running back and forth in the street, apparently agitated or under the influence of something.
A witness who called police to the scene of the accident told reporters about the man’s erratic behavior.
“I thought something was wrong with [the man], because he was pacing back and forth across Airway — in traffic,” a witness said. “He was definitely on something.”
The man witnessed the scene unfold as the suspect allegedly tried to avoid the Riverside officer. He says that as the officer hopped out of his SUV, the suspect ran behind the vehicle and jumped into the passenger’s seat and locked the doors. The Riverside officer attempted to get the suspect out of the vehicle, going so far as to deploy his taser.
But it was unsuccessful. The suspect continued to fight with the officer, then suddenly threw the SUV into reverse and began speeding away.
The witness said “I’ve never seen anybody get tased and not fall down immediately, let alone fight back with a police officer and take his vehicle.”
The bystander took video as the cruiser fled and other units began following him, unable to get him to stop.
Then suddenly the chase came to an abrupt end when the suspect tried to fly through an intersection and was struck by another vehicle. Police say multiple vehicles were involved in the accident.
WHIO reported that Tiffany Hameil, who was waiting for a bus on East Third, said she saw an oncoming car hit the stolen police SUV in the intersection at Patterson Road. One of the vehicles was spun around in the collision and hit vehicles parked along East Third Street near the library.
“I was terrified,” Hameil said. “There were car parts flying all over the street.”
Another witness, Denorris Hopgood, was on his way to dinner with his kid when he saw the destruction, noticing that there were several children inside one of the wrecked vehicles.
“I jumped out and did my best to get as many children out of the van as I could,” Hopgood said.
Six EMS units arrived at the scene and helped to begin transporting the injured to a nearby hospital. Three of the seven children that were inside the wrecked van were described to be in “life-threatening condition” around 10:30 p.m., and just a short time later, Dayton police Maj. Eric Henderson confirmed that two of the children had been killed.
Henderson said that a total of 12 people were hospitalized in the incident. Officers at the final crash scene were able to take the suspect into custody without further incident. His name and information has not been formally released but police say he was also taken to the hospital to be treated.
It’s currently unknown what specific charges the suspect will face, but police anticipate that it will be a long list.
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