Metro-East News

Two in custody after sheriff’s deputy injured in early-morning crash during pursuit

A St. Clair County deputy was injured and his squad car was damaged during an early-morning pursuit Friday.

According to a news release from the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, the deputy whose vehicle was struck was not directly involved in a pursuit being handled by the Belleville Police Department. The deputy, whose identity was not immediately released, was assisting in the area when his vehicle was broad-sided on the passenger side by the vehicle that was being pursued.

The squad car flipped. The crash happened at 3:37 a.m. in the intersection of 25th Street and Belleview Avenue in East St. Louis. The deputy was taken to an area hospital where he was treated and released. The extent of the damage to the squad car was not released.

Belleville police said they had two people in custody. According to a news release, the vehicle involved with the crash had been stolen on Thursday night. Belleville police were called to the 600 block of Benton Street at 8:39 p.m. Thursday for a report of a carjacking. A woman told police that a man wearing all dark clothing with his hood up over his head and armed with a handgun charged at her as she walked away from her 2016 Kia Optima.

Police said the man grabbed the woman’s car keys and wallet and demanded her cellphone. The woman didn’t give the man her phone. The man took the woman’s vehicle and left the area. The woman was not injured.

At 2:52 a.m. Friday, a St. Clair County sheriff’s deputy saw the Kia in the area of 82nd Street and Marybelle Avenue in East St. Louis. Belleville police responded to the area and noticed the car in the 8400 block of Marybelle. Police tried to stop the car, but it left the scene. Police said that during the pursuit, a male passenger exited the vehicle while it was still moving. That person, an 18-year-old, was taken into custody by a Washington Park police officer in the 7000 block of Marybelle Avenue.

Police said the pursuit lasted more than 25 minutes and covered parts of Belleville, Fairview Heights and East St. Louis.

After the Kia crashed into the St. Clair County squad car, the driver of the car, a 17-year-old male, was taken into custody. He was taken to an area hospital where he was treated and released.

Official charges were pending by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Belleville police were still investigating the carjacking case on Friday afternoon, while Illinois State Police were in charge of investigating the crash. A State Police spokesman said no report was available on Friday.

Don O’Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND