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More than a dozen police cars involved in wild chase with pickup driver

posted May 19, 2012, 9:41 AM by Joseph Gray
By Mary Ann Thomas
Gateway Newspapers

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 12:10 a.m.
Updated 11 hours ago

Police were searching for two men in a pickup truck early today who taunted police during a chase that lasted nearly two hours.

It involved more than a dozen police cars and went through cornfields, dirt roads, power line rights of way and communities stretching from Vandergrift to Elderton to Indiana County.

The Dodge pickup is owned by a Shelocta, Indiana County, man whom police are trying to contact, according to Vandergrift Police Sgt. Steve Callipare.

After the truck entered the woods in Indiana County, police could not follow, according to Callipare.

The incident began when a Vandergrift resident reported a fistfight at the public basketball courts along Jackson Avenue at about 8:30 p.m.

When Callipare arrived, he said he saw one man sitting in the pickup fighting with another man who was standing outside the driver's door.

"As soon as they saw me, the guy behind the wheel put the guy standing there in a headlock and then drove over an embankment along the roadside," Callipare said.

He said the driver was dragging the man past the basketball courts, then into an alley between Jackson and Linden streets.

"The guy that was getting dragged was trying to get into the truck," Callipare said.

Eventually, the man made it into the truck's cab, according to Callipare.

The pickup then headed to the Route 56 Bypass, to the Vandergrift Bridge, to Parks Township's Dime Road and Garvers Ferry Road, to Bethel Township and beyond.

At one point, the truck passenger taunted police when he sat outside of the passenger window and pounded the roof of the truck, according to Callipare.

He made hand gestures like he was firing a gun at the police cars following behind, Callipare said.

In Parks Township, police took to a number of roads and entered off-road areas chasing the truck, reaching speeds of 60 mph on Dime Road.

After Parks Township, Callipare said it was difficult to track all of the locations of chase, which eventually ended in Indiana County near Elderton when the pickup drove into the woods.

"Nobody could go in the woods after him," he said. "There were tree stumps that we could not get over."

A number of police departments assisted including Allegheny Township, Parks, Elderton, Apollo, Kiski Township and state police in Kittanning and Indiana County.</

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