LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — Four people remain in the hospital, including the suspect, who police said led them on a high speed chase in a stolen car.
It happened Sunday morning across the city’s east side. Police said the chase went through several streets before the suspect crashed the stolen car.
The victim of the car theft told 24-Hour News 8 he’s still very shaken up by what happened. He declined an on camera interview. He told us off camera he stopped by the gas station at Capital and 38th Street to pick up a couple of things when he saw the suspect getting into his car.
He said he ran out, got in front of the car, but the suspect stepped on the gas. He said his white Chevy Tahoe is a total loss. He had no idea his car was involved in a police chase until he heard it on the news.
The victim reported the crime to police. He told them someone took off with his car. He said he made the mistake and left the car running and unlocked.
“Sure enough just a few minutes later our officer spots that vehicle near I-465 and Pendleton Pike,” said Gary Woodruff, Lawrence Police Deputy Chief.
Woodruff said officers tried pulling the car over with no luck.
“The driver did not yield to the officers’ attempt to stop it and led them on quite a chase throughout the east side there,” he said.
Woodruff said the chase lasted for about 20 minutes with the suspect going at least 80 miles per hour.
“The driver of the stolen vehicle was doubling back several times trying to elude officers and was actually aggressively driving towards officers,” he said. “At some point, as officers were trying to employ different measures to get him to stop, including stop sticks, as they were trying to employ those he would actually aggressively swerve at and towards officers.”
Surveillance video from a gas station shows the impact of the ending. The suspect crashed the stolen car at the intersection of 10th Street and Post Road.
“This was an individual who’s very committed to try to elude law enforcement and we’re glad we’re able to get him into custody,” he said.
45-year-old Phil White is now facing preliminary charges of auto theft, criminal recklessness, and resisting law enforcement.
“All the criminal needs is just a moment of opportunity to get into your unlocked and running vehicle unattended and take off in it; that’s the only opportunity they need and it can happen in the blink of an eye,” he said.
In total, police said 10 people were injured in the crash. Six people were treated and released at the scene, and four were taken to the hospital, including the suspect. Police said they are still recovering from their injuries.
A student minister for Post Road Christian Church told 24-Hour News 8 three members of their congregation were involved in the crash. They were on their way to church when their car was hit. The student minister said they were treated and released at the scene.