A 16-year-old will face multiple charges after crashing a stolen vehicle into a police cruiser early Sunday morning.

In a release posted to the Tuscaloosa Police Department's Facebook page, a spokesperson said TPD had been searching for a stolen Toyota Highlander since Thursday. The SUV was spotted near 13th Street East and McFarland Boulevard at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, and after officers tried to stop the driver near Midtown Village, a pursuit ensued.

The release indicated that officers "lost sight of the vehicle and called off the pursuit" after several minutes, but once again spotted the driver on 12th Avenue. The driver had turned the headlights off, causing the officer who spotted him to crash into the car. Both vehicles saw damage to the front passenger sides, though the officer involved in the crash sustained no injuries.

After the crash, a brief foot-chase ensued until the driver was apprehended in the Bonita Terrace area. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries from the Toyota's airbags, which deployed in the crash. He is now in the Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Detention Center.

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The teenager left a handgun in the front seat of the SUV.

According to the release, the teenager has been charged with "first-degree receiving stolen property, certain persons forbidden from possessing a firearm, resisting arrest, attempting to elude, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, running a stop sign and driving without a license."

TPD Chief Brent Blankley issued a statement regarding the case in the Facebook release.

“It’s disturbing to me that a 16-year-old was driving around in a stolen vehicle with a handgun,” Blankley said. “I’m glad our officers were able to take this juvenile into custody and get at least one gun out of the hands of a teenager. I’m grateful that none of the officers or other drivers on the road were injured as a result of his decision to flee and drive recklessly.”

The Tuscaloosa Thread will update this story as new information is made available.



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