Dayton police chase suspects in stolen car, then rescue them from fiery crash

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Dayton police officers chase a couple in a stolen car, then rescue them after they flip the car in a fiery crash earlier this month.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Dayton police officers chase a couple in a stolen car, then rescue them after they flip the car in a fiery crash earlier this month.

Cruiser camera video caught the chase and flames after officers spotted a vehicle on Dec. 20 taken from a 19-year-old man during armed carjacking the day before in this exclusive report from News Center 7’s Mike Campbell.

The pursuit video shows the car swerve across double lines toward oncoming traffic, then cut into a neighborhood. The driver begins fish-tailing, hits a rock and flips across the road. The car rolls onto its top and flames burst into the air.

“He wrecked, he wrecked, he wrecked,” a trailing officer yells into his police radio.

The situation quickly turned from officers trying to stop the suspects from harming others, to trying to protect them and save them from the burning vehicle. Once the men were rescued, officers used fire extinguishers they carry in their cruisers.

The officers did the right thing, police supervisors said.

“Always a dichotomy, you have to protect everyone, not just the good guys,” said Dayton police Lt. Eric Sheldon.

Although the car in the crash was the one stolen from the 19-year-old in the armed carjacking, the license plates had been covered by temporary tags, police said.

“Sometimes they’ll steal them to use them in a crime so the vehicle can’t be traced to them,” Sheldon said of stealing cars, temporary tags.

Detectives said they are trying to gather more information to tie the two people rescued from the burning car to the carjacking.

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