Local man arrested after allegedly leading police on high-speed chase, attempting to carjack woman

A Pittsburgh man is behind bars after police say he led them on a high-speed chase through Westmoreland County on Friday, Sept. 1, and attempted to carjack a woman at a local gas station.

The high-speed chase started when police responded to a call outside of the YMCA in Greensburg. Witnesses told police a man was physically fighting with a woman.  When they got on the scene, the man jumped in his car and sped off. He drove into the city, topping speeds of more than 100 miles per hour on the highway before it all ended at a Sunoco in Jeannette.

The dramatic moment when police said Matthew Armstrong tried to pull a woman out of her SUV at that Sunoco was all caught on surveillance video.

Armstrong is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison without bond.

Police said they stopped chasing Armstrong after he was on Toll Road 66, reaching speeds in excess of 110 miles per hour.

“It becomes a point where the police officer then has to make a decision to terminate or to continue to chase,” Greensburg Police Department Detective Sergeant Justin Scalzo said.

So, Greensburg Police alerted law enforcement to look out for Armstrong.

“It just so happened that Westmoreland County Sheriffs were in the Jeannette area when Mr. Armstrong had to stop to get gas,” Scalzo said.

Police said surveillance video from the Sunoco on Route 130 shows Armstrong pull in for gas, but quickly leave when he saw deputies turning around and heading toward him.

They followed him. Armstrong turned around and came back to the gas station with deputies right behind.

That’s the moment when he jumped out of his car, opened the door of an SUV with a mom and daughter inside, and tried to pull the mother out.

He ended up running away.

Deputies chased him off camera, eventually tased him, and took him into custody.

Scalzo said the mother and daughter were not hurt but this could have been much worse.

“There’s a chance he could have pulled that victim out of the car, and that makes us wonder, “What would have happened to the front passenger that was in the car with him?’” Scalzo said. “She might have not been able to escape the car and he could have then stolen that car and put her life in immediate danger.”

Matthew Armstrong is due in court on Sept. 14.

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