Pittsburgh chief limits police vehicle pursuits after crash hurts 5

PITTSBURGH — Members of the Citizen Police Review Board of Pittsburgh are taking a closer look at a Sunday police chase that injured five people, including a 12-year-old girl who was critically injured.

Security cameras outside the Mini of Pittsburgh car dealership caught the tail end of the five-minute chase.


According to police, the suspect driving a white car ran a stop sign and then led police on a high-speed police chase that ended on Baum Boulevard around 5:30 p.m.

"If it was a simple moving violation, not completely stopping at a stop sign is it really worth the risk and now what we see the outcome the end," said Elizabeth Pittenger, executive director of the Citizen Police Review Board told Channel 11's Damany Lewis.

Monday, Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay issued a moratorium on police pursuits because of traffic violations.

The 26-year-old driver and a 16-year-old girl in the car were taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital in stable condition. The critically injured 12-year-old girl was in the back seat.

Police said they also found a ballistic vest, two ski masks and a police scanner in the car.

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Sonya Toler confirmed that Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay issued a memo Monday that said officers can't initiate chases unless they believe a suspect in a violent felony is involved.

"Regrettably, too many instances occur where our police pursuits create greater danger to the public than the violations we are seeking to address through enforcement,” McLay said in a memo.

Witnesses said the crash startled them.

“I came out running and there were cops with their guns standing right by the white car screaming for the gentleman to get out,” witness Jonathan Thayer said.

Another woman said she hid in her apartment because she was afraid of the nature of the incident due to all the police activity.

A couple from Wexford who were in the city visiting their daughter were in the other car. They were taken to another hospital with minor injuries.

Police said their investigation into the incident remains active and they are still trying to determine what charges will be filed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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