TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A 16-year-old crashed into a patrol car following a police pursuit early Sunday morning, according to Tuscaloosa police.
Authorities said the teen was also driving a stolen SUV and had a handgun.
Tuscaloosa Police received a report of a stolen Toyota Highlander on Thursday afternoon. Officers on patrol noticed the SUV around the area of 13th Street East and McFarland Boulevard at 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Officers attempted to stop the driver near the area of University Mall and Midtown Village, but he refused to stop and led the officers on a pursuit for several minutes.
The officers had lost sight of the vehicle and called off the pursuit when another patrol officer turned onto 12th Avenue and encountered the SUV, which was traveling south with headlights on. The officer was able to turn in time to avoid a head-on collision, but the vehicles did collide and both sustained damage to the front passenger sides.
The driver then led the officer on a foot pursuit and was taken into custody in the Bonita Terrace neighborhood. He was hospitalized for injuries sustained when the SUV’s airbag deployed and then taken to the Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Detention Center. Investigators located a handgun in the front seat of the vehicle.
The teenager was charged with first-degree receiving stolen property, certain persons forbidden from possessing a firearm, resisting arrest, attempting to elude, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, running a stop sign and driving without a license.
“It’s disturbing to me that a 16-year-old was driving around in a stolen vehicle with a handgun,” said TPD Chief Brent Blankley. “I’m glad our officers were able to take this juvenile into custody and get at least one gun out of the hands of a teenager. I’m grateful that none of the officers or other drivers on the road were injured as a result of his decision to flee and drive recklessly.”