Police chase, crash in Milwaukee; stolen Jeep goes airborne, 5 hurt

A high-speed police chase ended with a crash near 76th and Villard on Milwaukee's north side Wednesday, Feb. 2.

The stolen Jeep being pursued flipped and went airborne as it crashed into several cars parked on the Hart Auto lot. The wild moments were captured on camera.

"It happened so fast because he was coming so fast," said Christine Gaspardo with Hart Auto. "It was just in a matter of a seconds – poo – everything was flying everywhere."

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The stolen SUV barreled through the intersection of 76th and Villard, ignoring the speeding police cars behind it. It hit a red car and then a fire hydrant before taking flight in the Hart Auto parking lot.

"It went airborne, it flipped over several times, it turned over," Gaspardo, a former EMT, said. "I saw the gal laying on the ground, so I started to assist her with one of the police officers."

Stolen vehicle pursuit ends in crash near 76th and Villard in Milwaukee

Milwaukee police said the pursuit began near 60th and Capitol – roughly two miles away from where it ended – shortly after 1:30 p.m. A police officer spotted the SUV, which had been stolen in a reported armed robbery, driving recklessly and tried to stop it, but the driver refused.

The driver of the stolen Jeep, along with two passengers, sped through the streets while documenting it all on Facebook.

"Everything was live (streaming) while they were driving around in my truck," Pamela Watkins, the stolen Jeep's owner, said.

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Watkins followed along, finding her stolen Jeep destroyed. The Lyft driver said she had been carjacked a day earlier after picking up a teen.

"When I turned back to look at the young man, he pulled out the gun and pointed it at me, and he said, ‘Ma’am, you got to get out your car,’" said Watkins.

As Watkins processes it all, Larry Rowell, the owner of Hart Auto, looked at his own damage in disbelief.

"Broken windshields, smashed in windshield, the roof was damaged on top," said Rowell. "It smashed into these cars, and that’s where it was a domino effect all the way down."

Stolen vehicle pursuit ends in crash near 76th and Villard in Milwaukee

An unforgettable day is leaving its mark in more ways than one. MPD said a gun was recovered, and a 17-year-old was arrested. The teen was taken to the hospital along with the two passengers and the drivers of two other vehicles. Nobody at Hart Auto was injured.

"It’s very sad that kids think this is OK," Watkins said.

Criminal charges are expected to be filed in the coming days.


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