Ex-con rams police car, escapes custody
An ex-convict and two of his pals went for a wild ride on Roosevelt Boulevard early last Friday, leaving a police car and at least two other vehicles in the repair shop while snarling traffic on the busy artery for much of the morning rush.
Police did not officially release the identity of the wayward motorist. They initially identified him as a 26-year-old city resident. During a more than four-hour saga, he allegedly escaped from the back of a police car in handcuffs before officers captured him for good in a Summerdale alleyway.
The episode began at about 4:54 a.m. when someone called 911 to report that a black Cadillac was driving recklessly in the southbound lanes of the Boulevard near Grant Avenue. A short time later, an officer from the Philadelphia police’s Traffic Division spotted the car as it skidded to a stop before a traffic light at Bridge Street. There were two men in the front seats and a woman in the backseat.
When the officer tried to stop the car with his dome lights flashing and siren blaring, the driver shifted into reverse, rammed a patrol car and fled southbound with the officer trailing behind. When the cop arrived at the Summerdale Avenue intersection, he saw that the Cadillac had crashed into two civilian vehicles, including one that had an off-duty state trooper at the wheel.
The suspect driver ran across the Boulevard toward Friends Hospital, but the cop and off-duty trooper chased him down and cuffed him. As the suspect was being stuffed into the back of a patrol car, he exclaimed, “I can’t go back to jail. I can’t go back to jail,” police said.
After the officers returned to the crash scene to survey the damage, the suspect managed to break free from the patrol car and flee again.
He remained on the lam until about 9:15 a.m. when officers from the 2nd district spotted him in an alley along the 900 block of Pratt St. His wrists were still bound in cuffs. He tried to run again, but cops caught him on the 900 block of E. Godfrey Ave. ••