Wild night as man steals SUV, crashes, gets Tasered, steals another car

The scene of a crash at 5th and Callowhill Streets that capped a wild overnight incident in which a man stole an SUV, fled police, crashed, got into a fight with an officer, was Tasered, escaped, then stole another vehicle. (Frank Kummer / Staff)
The scene of a crash at 5th and Callowhill Streets that capped a wild overnight incident in which a man stole an SUV, fled police, crashed, got into a fight with an officer, was Tasered, escaped, then stole another vehicle. (Frank Kummer / Staff)
Posted: June 01, 2012

Breaking News Staff

A man who took off in a stolen SUV when Philadelphia police tried to pull him over in Kensington later crashed the vehicle near Center City early today, leaped out, got Tasered in a scuffle with a police officer, broke free and then escaped by stealing another car.

According to Det. Richard Bova, of Central Detectives, the following events unfolded, beginning at about 12:40 a.m. today:

Patrolling police attempted to pull over the driver of a silver 2004 Ford Explorer for a motor vehicle violation at D Street and Allegheny Avenue. A search of the license plate showed the car was stolen. However, the vehicle took off as the police began flashing their lights. As per new guidelines, police did not engage in a high speed pursuit and lost sight of the vehicle.

About 10 minutes later, an officer driving near 5th and Callowhill Streets just north of Center City heard a crash, and saw the stolen SUV had plowed into a silver 2001 Mercury Sable and flipped, apparently after running a red light. A woman inside the Sable was not seriously injured.

As the officer approached the crash scene, the suspect, described as a 6-foot-tall white male with brown hair, climbed from the wreckage and ran into the yard of the CubeSmart storage business. The officer confronted the suspect, who refused to show his hands, Bova said.

The officer deployed his Taser, but it malfunctioned and he and the suspect began to scuffle. During the struggle, the officer managed to Taser the suspect on his neck, but it appeared to have no effect. The suspect punched and kicked at the officer, knocking the Taser to the ground and managing to escape.

Meanwhile, a woman in a 2001 Honda Accord stopped to see if she could help the accident victims, but left the keys in the ignition.

The fleeing suspect hopped in the Accord and took off. He was last seen driving north on 5th Street at a high rate of speed, according to Bova.

Bova said police were searching for the suspect and were contacting area hospitals to see if anyone fitting his description had showed up seeking treatment for injuries. Bova also said police recovered the suspect’s hand and finger prints, and other evidence, from the SUV, which has been impounded.

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