Officer crashes cruiser into tree to avoid hitting suspected bank robber in Squirrel Hill



PITTSBURGH - An officer crashed his police cruiser into a tree in an effort to avoid hitting a bank robbery suspect on Wednesday, officials said.

According to police, the man in his 20s demanded money from three tellers inside the First National Bank on Murray Avenue. Police said the tellers gave the man an undetermined amount of money and he fled the scene on foot onto Beacon Street.

Investigators said the man was spotted hiding in some bushes by a postal worker, who immediately called police.

Officers said the man tried running from police and one officer drove into a tree to avoid hitting him with his car.

The man continued to run, police said, but was eventually arrested. Officers said they recovered the money and a gun, as well as drugs.

The man was taken to an area hospital as a precaution and then transported to the Allegheny County Jail. He is facing several charges including robbery.

Investigators said the accident happened in front of the Hillel Academy, which was placed on lockdown during the incident.

“It all happened so very quickly,” Hillel Academy Principal Sam Weinberg said. “We immediately ran back inside and told all the students to remain in the classrooms until we knew what was going on.”

No officers were hurt.