Car theft has come back with a vengeance. While we usually call the police to deal with this issue, who are the police supposed to call when a cop car is stolen? Pennsylvania state police got carjacked when a traffic stop went a little off the rails. The car theft ended in a full cop car demolition-derby-style pursuit.
This traffic stop didn’t go according to plan
CBS 21 reports a state trooper got car jacked during a traffic stop on Interstate 81 in Silver Spring Township, PA. The details of the stop aren’t reported, but the results are. At some point in the traffic stop, the driver who was pulled over made a break for the cop car, a Ford Taurus cruiser.
Within minutes a multi-department pursuit began. Nothing will bring down the hammer of the law quite like stealing a cop car.
Meanwhile, back at the start of the car chase, 31-year-old Malik Lamar Clover reportedly took the opportunity to flee on foot when the driver led the police on the chase. Clover was later picked up at a nearby hotel and arrested, but we aren’t sure what for.
Police demolition derby
30-year-old Hanif Malik Hall, the man behind the wheel, led PA state police on a bit of chase before slowing down to navigate oncoming traffic. Hall even stopped on the side of the road for a moment before getting rammed by pursuing police. This hit, for some reason, started the whole thing back up.
The hit really must have lit a fire under the cop car bandit because he doesn’t slow again until police hit him with the PIT maneuver. Still persistent, Hall continues the pursuit. Other drivers, watching the cop car destruction derby try to help by boxing in the cruiser. However, the civilian effort didn’t work.
Although the video stops shortly after this part of the saga, the culprit led the police on until the cop car was “disabled” by area police. Hall then fled the disabled car but was eventually captured by the police.
According to CarScoops, the duo is now facing a long list of charges, including fleeing and eluding, robbery of a motor vehicle, and illegally possessing a firearm.
Can police ram your car?
According to ex-police officer India L. J. Mitchell, “There are very few circumstances which would allow “ramming” and severity of the crime being the most important one.”
In most states, PIT maneuvers or “ramming” are classified as “lethal force.” This, like discharging a firearm, requires (or at least should require) an evaluation of the severity and implied danger in the crime being committed to justify using such force. We have seen this judgment get pretty liberal over the years. For instance, the pregnant woman whose SUV was flipped by a cop for not pulling over fast enough.
In this case, a stolen cop car on a hot pursuit probably won’t need much justification.