Suspect driving with small boy crashes in Tarentum after high-speed chase on Route 28
An Arnold man with a young boy riding in the back seat led police on a high-speed chase Friday night that started on the Route 28 expressway and ended when he crashed near the foot of the Tarentum Bridge.
The chase ended shortly before 9 p.m. when the suspect crashed into a utility pole immediately after he tried to turn from Route 366 (Ross Street) onto West Seventh Avenue. The pole was on the opposite side of the street, meaning the driver had crossed over three oncoming lanes.
State police Cpl. Chris Robbins said Kevin L. Watson, 29, attempted to flee from his wrecked Lincoln Continental near Nick Chevrolet, but was apprehended after a brief foot chase when Watson was shocked with a Taser. Watson is believed to be about 30 years old.
Robbins said the chase began near Exit 10 at the RIDC Park in O’Hara when Watson refused to pull over for a traffic stop because his window tint was too dark.
“He got combative and refused to comply,” Robbins said. “He took off at a high rate of speed northbound and failed to stop for red and blue (police) lights. Multiple units converged. Local units gave a tremendous assist.”
Watson drove more than 100 mph at one point before getting off the expressway at Exit 14 at the Tarentum exit. Tarentum and Brackenridge police responded to the crash site.
Robbins said Watson, who is on state parole for a previous incident, refused multiple commands from state troopers after the crash.
“A Taser was deployed (and) was highly effective in stopping the actions of a fleeing felon,” Robbins said. “The male subject was injured due to the crash, not by the actions of the trooper.”
Watson was taken by ambulance to Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison, and then flown to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment of a head injury.
The boy, estimated to be about 3- or 4-years-old, also was injured slightly. He was strapped into a car seat.
“The car seat did its job despite the senseless, reckless actions of this suspect running from police,” Robbins said. “This all could have been avoided had (Watson) simply complied and not put everybody in danger.”
Robbins said the boy was shaken up but otherwise unharmed. He was transported to AVH as a precaution. It was unclear if the boy was Watson’s son. Robbins said Children, Youth and Families Services would be notified of the incident.
Police: Car contained large amount of marijuana
Robbins said a search of Watson’s vehicle netted a large amount of marijuana and cash, other evidence of drug dealing.
He said 1940s big band music was playing in the car.
“In 22 years (on the force), I haven’t seen that,” Robbins said of Watson’s chase music selection.
Watson is charged with recklessly endangering another person, endangering the welfare of children, resisting arrest, fleeing or attempting to elude police officer, driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, possession of illicit drugs, possession with intent to deliver, driving vehicle at an unsafe speed, leaving an unattended child in a motor vehicle and dozens of traffic violations.
No other injuries were reported.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .