An early-morning police pursuit that started in Belleville ended with three injured after their vehicle crashed in East St. Louis.
Police identified the driver of the fleeing car as Jahkeese Rodgers, 20, of Belleville. A passenger in the car with Rodgers was not identified by police.
Belleville Police said they spotted at about 8 a.m. a man who was wanted on an outstanding no-bond warrant, driving a dark blue Nissan. When they attempted to pull him over, Rodgers fled from South Illinois Street and South Belt West and drove west on Illinois 15 to the Flying J travel center in Alorton.
Belleville Police Capt. John Moody said a commanding officer ordered the officers who were pursuing the fleeing car to terminate his pursuit two minutes after it started.
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"He turned off his lights and siren and continued to follow the car at a safe distance," Moody said.
The fleeing driver continued driving west on Pocket Road and onto a variety of streets as he continued to try to avoid police apprehension. Once he entered East St. Louis, several unmarked police vehicles picked him up and started pursuing the vehicle, Moody said. The fleeing car with police behind it drove over State Street and St. Clair Avenue.
"The vehicle came south from St. Clair Avenue onto 22nd Street at a high rate of speed," Moody said.
Rodgers' dark blue Nissan Altima "struck a van headed west on State. The van turned over and went into a building (Harlem's Hair Studio) on the corner of 22nd and State streets. A passenger, who was inside the Nissan, suffered severe injuries. The driver also suffered serious injuries.
"The driver (Rodgers) hopped out of the car and ran. Police were able to apprehend him," Moody said.
The driver of the silver van "was up walking around" but was taken to a hospital for treatment, Moody said. All three were taken to Saint Louis University Hospital.
St. Clair County records show Rodgers had two charges for driving on a suspended license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, a misdemeanor obstructing a police officer, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor obstructing identification and felony theft charge against him in 2017. Two warrants were issued in March 2018 for his arrest in relation to the traffic cases, the misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor obstructing and misdemeanor felony.