Police: Woman tries to carjack off-duty sheriff’s deputy | TribLIVE.com

Police: Woman tries to carjack off-duty sheriff’s deputy

Natasha Lindstrom
Courtesy of Allegheny County
Ajanay Watson
Courtesy of Allegheny County
Ajanay Watson

Police arrested a 19-year-old woman accused of trying to carjack an off-duty sheriff’s deputy Tuesday afternoon in the city’s East Liberty neighborhood before leading police on a car chase into Penn Hills.

No one was injured, Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri said.

Ajanay Watson faces several charges including robbery of a motor vehicle, carrying a firearm without a license, and simple assault. She was arraigned and placed in the Allegheny County Jail on $30,000 bond, according to court records.

Pittsburgh police and Allegheny County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a carjacking near North Beatty Street and East Liberty Boulevard at about 2:45 p.m.

Investigators learned that Watson had a gun tucked in her waistband when she approached and attempted to carjack the off-duty deputy, who was in a personal vehicle, Togneri said.

The deputy pulled her own gun out, prompting Watson to run.

“That carjacking attempt was also unsuccessful,” Togneri said.

An off-duty Pittsburgh police officer witnessed the attempted carjacking and drew her firearm. Both the deputy and police officer chased Watson on foot.

Initial reports indicated that the off-duty police officer was the target of a carjacking. Police later clarified that the officer was not.

Watson is accused of trying to carjack another vehicle “without success,” then managing to force a driver out of a another car, Togneri said.

Watson used the stolen car to drive toward Frankstown Road in Penn Hills.

Several officers from multiple agencies gave chase.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Watson crashed the stolen car near the intersection of Frankstown and Graham Boulevard, Togneri said.

Police took Watson into custody and seized the gun believed to have been used in the carjackings, Togneri said.

Watson is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 8 a.m. on Oct. 21.

Pittsburgh police continue to investigate.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the off-duty Pittsburgh police officer was not a carjacking victim.

Staff writer Brian C. Rittmeyer contributed to this report.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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