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Seat-belt check leads to auto chase, arrest

| Wednesday, June 1, 2005, 12:00 p.m.

A weekend campaign to crack down on seat-belt violations led to a chase through several Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

About 11:30 p.m. Monday, officers tried to pull over a car driven by Germaine Alford, 25, of Penn Hills, after he drove through a red light on East Ohio Street in the North Side, police said.

Alford drove off and got on Route 28 north, and led officers over the Highland Park Bridge, police said, adding that he then drove into oncoming traffic and through a barricade police had set up at the intersection of Butler Street and One Wild Place.

One officer had to dive into bushes by the side of the road to avoid being struck by Alford's car, police said.

Police said they continued the chase until Alford abandoned his car in the 5000 block of Rosetta Street in Garfield, then ran between several houses on Brown Way, where officers caught him.

Alford is charged with aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding police and a string of traffic violations, including a seat-belt violation. Alford also was wanted by the U.S. Marshals' office, police said, but the charge was not known Tuesday.

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