After hitting 4 police cars, truck crashes; driver arrested
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A speeding driver led Pennsylvania State Police, Monroeville police and Allegheny County sheriff's deputies on a wild chase Friday on the Parkway East, hitting four police cars before a deputy shot out his tires and he crashed into a building.
No one was injured during the chase. The driver, Jamison Michael Gasior, 37, of West View, was arrested in Monroeville, said state Trooper Robin Mungo.
Police charged him later that day with 10 counts of aggravated assault, five counts of simple assault, six counts of reckless endangerment, three counts of criminal mischief, one count of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and numerous traffic violations.
The chase started at about 9:15 a.m., when a state trooper patrolling the Parkway East near the Bates Street on-ramp noticed a pickup truck speeding, according to a state police news release.
Greg Cathcart, of New Hope, Bucks County, who was passing through Pittsburgh on business, said he had been driving alongside the pickup truck before Mr. Gasior suddenly pulled ahead.
"He bolted out in that left lane like a bat out of you know what," Mr. Cathcart said. "I just assumed he didn't see the state trooper two cars in front of him. And I go, 'He's in trouble.' "
The trooper chased the truck through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel as it weaved in and out of traffic.
"I thought he was going to kill somebody," Mr. Cathcart said.
A sheriff's car soon joined the pursuit. When Mr. Gasior exited the parkway onto Route 22 and turned onto Old William Penn Highway and Beatty Road, Monroeville police also took chase.
At some point, a deputy shot out two of the pickup's tires. Mr. Gasior then turned into the parking lot of the Community College of Allegheny County's Boyce campus and crashed into a building, according to the news release. He was able to drive out of the campus, but police caught him near the turnpike overpass on Beatty Road, about ten miles away from where the chase began.
During the chase, Mr. Gasior hit two Monroeville police cars, one sheriff's car and one state police car, according to the news release.
Mr. Gasior pleaded guilty in 2007 to speeding, according to court records, but prior to Friday, that was his most serious criminal offense in Pennsylvania.
First Published December 4, 2010 12:00 am