A witness wound up becoming the victim of a carjacking overnight along one of Philadelphia’s busiest roads during a bizarre series of events that left two Philadelphia police officers hurt.
The plainclothes officers suffered injuries after a driver slammed his black sedan into their unmarked Ford Ranger pickup truck along Broad Street at Brown Street in the Fairmount section of North Philadelphia around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, said police.
A witness -- who said he was frightened -- jumped out of his SUV without putting the vehicle in park. That’s when two men from the black sedan jumped into his white Ford and sped off southbound on Broad Street before turning off and going the wrong direction north on 15th Street, said police.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
The Ford SUV then slammed into a gray Nissan Altima carrying three people at the intersection of 15th and Parrish streets. After that wreck the two carjackers ran into The Playhouse nightclub at 822 N Broad Street where they took off some clothing so they could elude police, said investigators.
The men then fled in an unknown direction.
The two plainclothes officers were taken to Hahnemann Hospital for observation -- one with a head injury and the other with shoulder and hip injuries -- and were expected to be OK, said police. No one in the second struck vehicle reported being injured.
Besides searching for the hit-and-run suspects, police also tried to pry information from the carjacking victim as they searched for more clues in what they called a bizarre incident.
"It really doesn't make any sense to exit a 2015 vehicle at quarter after 2 in the morning if you're afraid," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. "If you're afraid you lock your doors and you drive away. For some reason this 33-year-old male he can't give us a clear reason why he jumped out of his car, left it running, left it in drive and therefore it was subsequently stolen."
Expect traffic delays in the area as police continue to investigate the crashes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Philadelphia Police.