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Bizarre Monessen Police Chase Ends With Stolen Cruiser Crashing Into House

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A Uniontown woman is in jail tonight, charged with stealing a police car and then crashing it into a house. As KDKA's Ross Guidotti reports, it all started after another alleged car theft.

Video Transcript

- A woman is in jail tonight, charged with stealing a police car and then crashing it into a house.

- As Russ Guidotti explains, this all started after another alleged car theft.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: Bryan Clark was fast asleep in his Monessen home until, as this video shows, around 3:42 AM.

BRYAN CLARK: Yeah, I heard police sirens. And I looked out the window, and I saw the police car come up the road.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: That police vehicle ended up in that house after investigators say this allegedly stolen Mercedes was discovered driving down Donner Avenue the wrong way with only three wheels. Inside the Benz, an unidentified male driver and a woman police would later identify as [? Jamayah ?] Leonard. An officer spotted the vehicle moving along, but stopped it in a nearby lot along Donner Avenue. According to police, this is when the driver got out and ran. The officer pursued him, and according to police, that's when [? Jamayah ?] Leonard got behind the wheel of the still-running police SUV.

BRYAN CLARK: I just heard a big bang.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: Mr Clark's cell phone video shows the patrol unit being dragged on to a flatbed. Police say [? Jamayah ?] Leonard took off after the crash.

BRYAN CLARK: Someone jumped out of the car, go to run down over the hill, came from back there and ran down the street. I had no idea what was going on.

ROSS GUIDOTTI: All right, Miss Leonard right now in the Westmoreland County jail facing multiple felony charges. The other suspect, however, remains on the run. Now why did the police officer leave the keys in the car and it running? Well, as it was explained to me by an law enforcement officer, in this particular instance, you've got a pursuit. The officer really didn't have a lot of time to put his keys in his pocket, shut off the car, and then keep his eyes on the subject, so he left the car running. It's not terribly uncommon.

Officers oftentimes leaves cars running for another reason-- that's in the event they have to get right back in. The car is already running, they don't have to worry about it potentially not stopping. And if you think this is terribly unique, it's not. Something very similar to this happened a couple of years ago in Fayette County with a state police vehicle. The officer and everybody involved is OK. 5:00 at Monessen, Ross Guidotti, KDKA News.