By Moustafa Ayad
ARLINGTON, Penn. — Two people driving in a stolen sport utility vehicle led officers on a high-speed chase that started in Arlington and ended when the suspects crashed into a brick pillar outside a West Mifflin shopping plaza, critically injuring one of them.
Police said the pair carjacked the SUV, a Toyota 4Runner with Pennsylvania license plate EZA 8099, on Monday from a car wash in Ross.
The man, identified by Ross police as Arlo Lamond, 38, of Mount Washington, was caught on surveillance tape lunging at a car-wash worker with a knife moments before he and a woman made off with the SUV.
Police identified the woman as Leann Doyle, 22, also of Mount Washington.
The suspects had to be extricated from the vehicle. Police said Ms. Doyle was taken to UPMC Presbyterian, where she was in critical condition.
Mr. Lamond was transported to Mercy Hospital with a head wound and compound fracture to one of his arms, said Bill Pelikan, assistant fire chief for the West Mifflin Fire Department.
Ross police Detective Benjamin Dripps said charges are pending.
Detective Dripps said he was called by the Allegheny County police department and city police to confirm the identities of the suspects.
"This all goes back to an incident that could have ended up with injuries in Ross Township and ended luckily without bystanders being injured in West Mifflin," Mr. Dripps said.
Last night, Zone 3 Pittsburgh police officers on Arlington Avenue in Arlington noticed the SUV around 6:20 p.m. and attempted to pull it over. The suspects sped off, heading down Carson Street on the South Side and then onto Mifflin Road through West Mifflin, police said.
During the chase, Ms. Doyle threw numerous objects at police, including several soda cans, according to police. The suspects narrowly missed Mr. Pelikan, who was directing traffic at Mifflin Road and Lebanon Church Road, before colliding with a brick column at the Century Plaza strip mall.
Witnesses said they saw the car careen through the busy shopping plaza parking lot, missing parked cars and shoppers, before it crashed into the brick pillar.
"Bricks went flying everywhere," said Amberlee Batchelor, of West Mifflin, who witnessed the SUV slam into the pillar from a window of Curves in the plaza. "If they were one store over, they would hit right were I was standing."
Brad Bennett, a fireman with the West Mifflin volunteer fire department, said the SUV was traveling at least 80 mph.
Copyright 2007 P.G. Publishing Co.
Penn. carjacker crashes after high-speed pursuit