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East Deer woman seriously hurt in hit-and-run incident

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Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012

EAST DEER — A hit-and-run traffic accident on Friday night ended in life-threatening injuries to an East Deer woman and serious charges filed against a Pittsburgh-area man.

Freddie Knight, 39, of the 300 block of Grant St., Wilmerding, is accused of driving the car that hit 47-year-old Tammy Roberts and then fleeing before he was caught by police.

Police say that when Knight was arrested, he said the wreck was caused when a truck hit the rear of his 1990s Mustang and forced it out of control. He also said he fled because he didn't have a license.

Roberts was in fair condition yesterday in Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh.

In arrest papers, police said Roberts and her boyfriend were walking down the steps of the Creighton Hotel in East Deer shortly after 10 p.m.

The boyfriend pushed Roberts off the steps when the couple saw the car coming at them — sideways — down Freeport Road, but she still was hit by the vehicle. When the driver started to back up, the boyfriend threw two six packs of beer at the windshield, cracking it as it sped away, police said.

The boyfriend gave police a description of the vehicle and a bulletin was broadcast.

Shortly after 11 p.m., Fawn Patrolman Chris Cattone spotted Knight's car at Route 908 and Howes Run Road.

Cattone turned on his flashing lights and Knight sped away, according to arrest papers.

Cottone told county police that he soon saw the deep-purple Mustang slide sideways onto Green Haven Lane and skid to a stop. The driver fled into the woods.

Police said Cottone chased the driver for several hundred yards, finding Knight hiding in the brush. Cottone fired a Taser because Knight wouldn't put his hands up.

In an affidavit, Knight allegedly told police that he drank a couple of beers and took narcotic pain pills for a hip injury.

Knight also allegedly told police he was going to the Creighton Hotel restaurant when an unknown truck hit the rear of his car and caused him to lose control of the vehicle. He said he accelerated to get control of the car, but he hit the woman.

He claimed he turned the engine off after hitting her.

He said he was getting ready to get out of the car when a man started to throw "cases" of beer at him.

According to arrest papers, Knight said he ran from police because he was driving without a license.

Knight received medical treatment on Saturday and was arraigned yesterday.

He is charged with aggravated assault with a vehicle, leaving an accident that seriously injured the woman, driving while his license is suspended, reckless driving, drunken driving, resisting arrest and fleeing or attempting to elude police.

Brackenridge District Judge Carolyn Bengel ordered Knight held in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing tentatively set for next week.

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