A police cruiser crashed into an SUV and then hit a church building on Wednesday as officers chased a car going the wrong way down a street in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood.
The vehicle hit the Bethel Church of God in Christ Church, but did no damage, according to police.
The driver of the SUV was not as lucky. He wound up at Ellis Hospital with a minor shoulder injury, and was treated and released, but not before police ran his record and discovered his license was suspended. He was ticketed.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” police department spokesman Sgt. Luciano Savoia said.
The incident began just before 3 p.m., when police drove past an occupied car on Strong Street.
The driver looked up, saw the officers, and drove away.
“He saw them and took off at a high rate of speed,” Savoia said. “Then he went the wrong way up Paige [Street].”
As officers pursued, the driver sped an intersection, Savoia said. An SUV was stopped there.
“He begins to creep out but he’s still looking at the guy that’s speeding by, not realizing there’s a police car following him,” Savoia said.
The police car crashed into the SUV and ricocheted off into the side of the church, Savoia said.
The officers and the driver of the SUV all ended up at Ellis Hospital with bumps and bruises. The driver that started the incident got away.
Later, officers found the vehicle they were chasing. It had been abandoned on Avenue A. Police said they still do not know why the driver fled when they saw him.
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