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Officers Recover After Chase Ends In Violent Crash

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two local police officers are recovering from injuries they sustained from a hit and run Monday night.

One person is in custody after a police chase that began in Bellevue early Tuesday morning.

According to police, the incident began around 3 a.m. at a BP gas station along Route 65.

“[3:15 a.m.] there was a car parked out at one of our pumps. He had been there for about 45 minutes,” Ken Godby said. “I saw the cops pull up and so I figured everything was alright.”

Two Avalon officers were initially called to the scene for a suspicious vehicle. As one of the officers approached the vehicle, the suspect tried to drive away.

The officer became hung up on the vehicle and was dragged for a short distance. The other officer fired his service weapon in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but was unsuccessful.

“I head 2 gunshots and after that I ran back in the cooler,” Godby said.

“They articulated they were in fear for their safety and their lives,” Allegheny County Police Lt. Andrew Schurman said.

The officer hung up on the vehicle eventually fell away from it before getting back into the squad car to pursue the suspect.

About two miles down Route 65 north, the officers lost control of their vehicle, rolled and became hung up on and overpass.

The suspect kept going and lost control at the interchange at Route 65 and Interstate 79, where Ohio Township officers took them into custody.

“The suspect vehicle also crashed on the ramp onto [Interstate] 79 southbound. He was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit. There was a weapon recovered from the suspect’s vehicle – a semi-automatic handgun,” Lt. Schurman said.

The suspect has been identified as Jonathan Schaeffer, 23, of Crafton. He is facing a list of charges including firearms violations. fleeing police and aggravated assault.

Schaeffer suffered minor injuries in the crash and has been treated and released from the hospital.

Schaeffer had nothing to say once he was taken to jail Tuesday. According to the criminal complaint, he told police he was high on ecstasy at the time of the incident.

The two Avalon officers suffered more significant injuries, but they are not life-threatening.

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