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COURT Suspect is arraigned after 90-mph chase



Published: Wed, August 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The 37-year-old defendant told the judge that he has never held a job.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Robbery suspect Carl Wallace's prosthetic leg came off when cops pulled him from a flaming stolen car he crashed on the South Side after traveling 90 mph to avoid arrest, reports show.

Wallace, 37, of Idora Avenue, was video arraigned Tuesday in municipal court on charges of aggravated robbery, receiving stolen property (the car), failure to comply with a police order, possession of drugs and driving under suspension. Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. set bond at $206,000. Wallace will be back in court Aug. 31.

To determine if Wallace qualified for a court-appointed attorney, the judge asked the man how he supported himself.

"In the streets, doing wrong," Wallace answered.

Judge Douglas then wanted to know the last time Wallace had a job.

"I ain't never worked," the man answered.

"How old are you?" the judge asked. Wallace replied, "37."

Dana C. Guarnieri, assistant city prosecutor, told the judge that Wallace has an extensive criminal background with seven theft convictions, four grand theft, several robberies, felonious assault, a probation violation and a theft charge from Aug. 4 pending in Boardman. She asked for bond of at least $200,000.

Wallace laughed out loud when Judge Douglas announced the bond for all charges would be $206,000.

How events played out

The drama began shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday with the aggravated robbery of Circle K, a convenience store on Mahoning Avenue.

The suspect, later identified as Wallace, was spotted by Detective Sgt. Bill Ross in a stolen 1996 red Dodge Neon on Old Furnace Road. The car had been reported stolen from Salem on Monday.

When the Neon reached Glenwood Avenue it headed southbound in the northbound lane at a high rate of speed, forcing Detective Sgt. Kevin Mercer off the road at Glenwood and Laclede avenues, police said. The Neon continued eastbound on Indianola Avenue, driving in the wrong lane and aiming at other oncoming cruisers, reports show.

Patrolman Robert Giovanni said the Neon driver ignored all traffic control devices and, after crossing South Avenue, was speeding at more than 90 mph. Police in pursuit, for safety, said they didn't travel that fast.

When officers caught up with the Neon it had crashed into a utility pole near 1101 E. Indianola. A fire started in the engine compartment of the heavily damaged front end.

Giovanni said Wallace's right prosthetic leg came off when he was pulled from the burning car. A 22-year-old female passenger was removed through a window.

Police used their extinguisher to slow the flames until firefighters arrived.

Giovanni said Wallace faked being unconscious and would not identify himself. The officer said he found painkiller pills under the Neon's driver's seat and three cartons of cigarettes on the floorboard that had been stolen from Circle K.

When taken for hospital treatment, Wallace still refused to identify himself but did admit to stealing the cigarettes, police said. Hospital staff were able to identify Wallace.

Police said Wallace has nine open suspensions on his driver's license. His passenger, from Salem, was not charged.




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