A Lawrenceville man was arrested Monday on charges that he stole a TV from a Target store in Harmar and led officers on a chase, driving the wrong way across the Highland Park Bridge during rush hour.
Brandon Cafeo, 23, was awaiting arraignment Monday night on charges of theft, fleeing police, aggravated assault and other offenses.
Harmar police Officer Allan Yonek wrote in a criminal complaint that he and Officer Brian Swetof were called to the Target on Freeport Road about 4:30 p.m. for a report that store security officers spotted a man in a gray sweatshirt trying to steal a large flat screen TV. When the officers arrived at Target, they spotted a man matching that description walk out of the store and get into a gray Chevrolet Cavalier.
When the officers got out of their marked cars, the suspect, later identified as Mr. Cafeo, rammed into Officer Swetof's car at least twice and began driving toward Officer Yonek, who fired his gun because "I felt my life was in danger as was Officer Swetof's," according to the complaint. No one was injured.
Police said they then followed Mr. Cafeo as he fled, striking several cars and a utility pole while he weaved throughout traffic before turning the wrong way onto the Highland Park Bridge, stopping only when he hit another car and his stopped working.
Officers arrested Mr. Cafeo while he was running under the bridge near the Allegheny River.