A police escaped car stormed an afternoon outdoor dining area in Newport, Kentucky, killing two people and wounding two others.
Police said the chase began in Cincinnati and raced across the John A. Robling Bridge before ending up crashing into a restaurant across the state line in Kentucky. The accident left debris and seats strewn across the street and the sidewalk.
Cincinnati Police Chief Elliot Isaac said the chase began at 4:22 pm. In Cincinnati, when police officers try to stop a car with three suspects inside. He said the officers, who were part of a federal task force with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were investigating possible gun violations.
Isaac said that when the car did not stop, at least two police troopers chased. He said they followed the suspect’s car through city streets, across the bridge to Newport, Kentucky, where it wounded four people outside the restaurant.
“This is a tragedy,” said Isaac.
When asked about the suspects who have not been identified, Ishaq said: “It is very clear that their actions caused the killing of two people.” He did not identify the victims of the accident, but said that the two survivors were taken to hospital with “non-life-threatening injuries.”
He said it was not clear how fast the suspect’s car or the police cruisers was traveling, although witnesses said the suspect was driving at high speed.
Ishaq said that the three suspects in the car sustained minor injuries while in police custody. Newport Police are leading the investigation into the accident.
Issac said the police would conduct an internal investigation into the prosecution.
“We will examine the appropriateness of the behavior of our officers,” said Isaac. “We always check our endeavors.”
Police prosecutions are common and dangerous, creating challenges for officers who must balance risks to public safety with the need to arrest suspects. A 2017 US Bureau of Justice Statistics study found that an average of 355 people were killed annually in a police pursuit between 1996 and 2015 – roughly one death every day.
“The stalking is always a concern,” said Isaac.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Steve Saunders said the suspect driving the car was believed to have been armed when the police began the chase.
Officers at the crash site sealed off an area of three buildings around the wreck. A sedan car was badly damaged in front of the building at the intersection.
The Cincinnati Police Department has a 13-page policy that governs how stalking occurs.
The policy says: “Officers must end their involvement in car chasing whenever the risks to their safety, the safety of innocent bystanders, or the safety of the suspects outweigh the consequences of the suspect’s escape.”
Officers involved in prosecutions are required to consider 13 different factors during prosecutions. Among these factors are the degree of risk involved in chasing others and the amount of pedestrian traffic.
According to this policy, officers have the power to pursue outside their jurisdiction and arrest without a warrant provided that the prosecution begins within the jurisdiction of the police officers and other factors are met.