PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A man is under arrest after police say he engaged in a savage and destructive rampage in a U-Haul truck, hitting al fresco dinners in Fishtown and nearly crushing police officers during ‘a chase. It all started when the driver pulled up to the International Bar on the corner of North Front Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, just after 6:30 pm Thursday.
Police say he reached the wooden wall of the restaurant and stole the purse of a woman sitting there. Then, in an attempt to escape, the driver crashed into the setup, hit a 62-year-old man who was at the restaurant, and hit a 26-year-old man who was on a motorcycle.
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After the U-Haul tore itself away, leaving a trail of destruction behind, the driver then led the police into a chase.
Crazy story in Fishtown. Police say the driver of a U-Haul crashed into this outdoor dining area, hit two people, drove police into a mad chase, and nearly ran over officers. Coming up, crime police said the driver was committing just before setting off this chain of wild events. pic.twitter.com/x6SxCJAwli
– Jan Carabeo (@ JanCarabeoCBS3) April 30, 2021
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A police helicopter spotted the U-Haul moving recklessly through city streets, and police on the ground caught up with the driver at 2nd and Birch streets.
Still trying to escape, police said the driver struck several parked cars and a police car.
With the U-Haul now stopped, investigators say police got out of their vehicle and tried to pull the driver of the U-Haul, but instead said the driver resisted and hit the gas , almost crushing the agents.
Investigators say the police then used their tasers and were able to make an arrest.
“So what started as a purse theft led to a hit and run car accident, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault,” the chief police inspector said. of Philadelphia, Scott Small. “Now inside that U-Haul, the police have found the 36-year-old woman’s wallet and possibly the purse and cell phone. She was able to describe it to us, and it appears her cell phone and other belongings are inside the U-Haul. But we are holding this as part of the crime scene and our detectives in the East are going to investigate it.
This driver was taken to hospital after being hit by the taser. The name of the suspect was not disclosed.
The two people who were affected by the U-Haul are expected to recover.
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Police are now searching the area for surveillance video to assist with the investigation.