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Man with daughter in SUV crashes into Pittsburgh police vehicle while drunk, police say

PITTSBURGH — A toddler was in the back seat of her father’s SUV when he crashed into a Pittsburgh police vehicle and two other vehicles while drunk, authorities said.

Three officers were in the police vehicle when the crash happened shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Columbo Street and North Negley Avenue, police said. None of the officers were hurt.

When two officers got out of their vehicle, they ordered the man driving the SUV to stay parked and remain inside. Instead, 43-year-old Mario Plowden drove away and nearly hit the officers, according to police.

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Police followed the SUV into the city’s Morningside neighborhood, where Plowden stopped on King Avenue and was arrested, officials said.

Plowden, according to police, admitted he was driving under the influence, telling officers he had some drinks on Broad Street. He had to be held up by officers and was then given a breathalyzer test.

Police found Plowden’s young daughter when they went to search the SUV. They said the girl was in the back seat and her car seat was not anchored down. She was not hurt, but she was taken to UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to be evaluated before being given to her mother.

Two vehicles were struck by Plowden’s SUV while he was fleeing from police, authorities said. The drivers of those vehicles were not hurt.

Plowden is facing more than 30 charges, including driving under the influence, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, endangering the welfare of a child and fleeing or attempting to elude police.