Police chase ends with crash at Schenectady eatery
SCHENECTADY An argument at a Glenville trailer park led to a police chase that ended with a crash in Schenectady on Thursday, police said.
The incident started around 2:30 p.m. at the Pine Ridge Trailer Park off Route 50.
According to Glenville police:
Police say Christopher M. Johnson Jr., 25, of Troy, was there helping a friend move when an argument started.
When Johnson went to leave, the friend tried to stop him. In the process, the friend was struck and thrown onto the PT Cruiser that Johnson was driving, shattering the windshield.
Johnson then fled down Route 50, speeding and passing cars along the way and turning onto Freemans Bridge Road.
A Glenville police officer picked up the car at that point and tried to stop him, then began a pursuit when Johnson failed to stop.
Johnson then pulled into the Lowe’s parking lot and pushed a female passenger out of the car as it was still moving. He then continued toward Schenectady, after evading another attempt by police to stop him.
The officer then followed him into the city and onto Erie Boulevard.
At the intersection with Green Street, the driver lost control, hit a curb and then smashed into a parked car, tearing off its bumper. The parked car was pushed into a Stewart’s sign, which did not appear to be damaged.
The driver then tried to continue fleeing, but didn’t make it far. Converging police boxed him in outside Mike’s Hot Dogs, taking him into custody without further incident.
“There were no injuries at all, thank God,” Glenville Police Lt. Stephen Janik said on the scene. “The only person that was injured was the person at the trailer park.”
Police would not identify the friend who was hit by the car, but said he was not seriously hurt, suffering only scrapes to his torso, right elbow and hip. He refused medical attention and refused to cooperate, police said.
Johnson faces misdemeanor counts of leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, reckless endangerment, fleeing a police officer, reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed operation. He also faces numerous traffic violations and an arrest warrant from Albany. He was arraigned and ordered held.
The chase ended right in front of the lunch stand’s anthropomorphic hot dog and french fry statues. Neither was damaged.
Inside the hot dog shop, waitress Liz Wegrowski said everything happened quickly.
“We were working and all of a sudden I look out and the cops were on the ground with him,” she said.
Wegrowski said she was thankful that no one was hurt. She said she had never seen officers converge so quickly.
“They did an excellent job,” she said.