Driver chasing car crashes into house

03/18/2014 12:37 PM

03/18/2014 5:33 PM

First, he tried to steal the car by jumping into the driver’s seat and punching a man sitting inside.

When that didn’t work out, police say, the suspect ran from the car as a group of other people approached in the Delano neighborhood of west Wichita early Tuesday morning and began following the group in a GMC after they left a bar. He chased them west on Douglas before trying to cut them off west of Meridian.

Wichita police Lt. Dan East said the suspect then rolled his GMC, striking a house in the 3100 block of West Douglas.

The episode began at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, East said, when a 26-year-old woman helped a 22-year-old friend to her car as they left the Shamrock Lounge at 1724 W. Douglas. She put him in her car and returned to the bar to get another friend.

While she was gone, an unknown man jumped into the car and tried to steal it, punching the 22-year-old man sitting inside, East said. Unable to take the car, the suspect left.

After the woman returned with her second friend, they began driving west on Douglas, East said. They noticed a GMC sport utility vehicle following them.

They tried to lose the GMC near Douglas and Meridian, East said. The GMC then tried to cut them off as they continued west on Douglas, but the driver lost control and crashed. The GMC rolled and struck a house in the 3100 block of West Douglas, causing “substantial damage,” East said.

The driver ran away before officers arrived. Police are checking to see whether the registered owner of the vehicle is the suspect in the case.

East recommended that anyone who thinks they are being followed by a suspicious person should call 911 and drive to a populated place, such as a convenience store.

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