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MAHONING VALLEY Van driver hospitalized after chase with police



Published: Tue, August 7, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The hospital refused to release any information on the man's condition.

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A 34-year-old East Side man remains hospitalized after reportedly taking Youngstown and Boardman police officers on a chase reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph.

The South Pearl Street man is in Forum Health Northside Medical Center. The hospital would not release any word on his condition.

Police reports say the man drove a white Dodge van through the window of the Boardman police substation on Hillman Way early Monday. Reports say he then pulled alongside a township police officer, told him about the accident and drove off.

Township police reportedly chased the van to Southern Boulevard, where the pursuit ended because the speed had become too excessive for safety.

The van was spotted on South Avenue at Williamson Street on the city's South Side by Youngstown police, who resumed the chase.

Reports say the man tried to ram several police cars, almost struck another car on Market Street, topped 100 mph crossing the Market Street bridge going into downtown, and almost struck a car at Wick and Rayen avenues.

How this ended: The van was ultimately stopped at Wick Avenue and Lincoln Street after reports say the driver again tried to ram a police car. Officers, with their guns drawn, ordered the driver out of the van. Reports say he moved as if to grab something and officers grabbed his hand, pulling him from the van.

The man faces felony charges of fleeing and creating risk of serious physical harm. He also may face vandalism charges in Boardman.

He later told officers that he ran from police because he wanted to die. Reports say the man told them he ran 20 red lights before officers spotted and chased him.

Reports say he told police he has a serious drug problem and planned to hit a steel utility pole in an attempt to commit suicide. He said he spent $260 on drugs Sunday night and that he needs help.




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