What to Know
- A police chase involving three teenagers that started in Montgomery County ended with a violent crash in West Philadelphia.
- The teens had beaten a woman outside King of Prussia Mall before taking off in her SUV, police said.
- Seven people aboard the bus sustained minor injuries. The teens were taken to hospitals for treatment of their injuries.
A violent robbery and carjacking by three teens at the King of Prussia Mall led to a state police pursuit that came to a crashing end when the car being chased slammed into a SEPTA bus in West Philadelphia, leaving at least seven victims hurt.
A female employee was leaving the mall around 9:44 p.m. Tuesday when a boy and two girls grabbed and choked her, slammed her against the pavement and took off in her SUV, the Upper Merion Police Department said in a press release.
The search for the teens came to an end around 10:30 p.m. when, chased by Pennsylvania State Police, they slammed into the SEPTA bus near the intersection of 37th and Spring Garden streets, in Philadelphia's Mantua neighborhood.
The ordeal began in a parking lot at the King of Prussia Mall when a 17-year-old boy approached the employee and asked to use her cellphone, the UMPD said in its news release. Instead of making a call, the boy handed the phone to one of the girls and then grabbed the woman from behind, placing her in a chokehold.
One of the girls punched the woman in the face before they threw her to the ground and all three fled in her silver 2005 Toyota Highlander, the UMPD said. The woman suffered a concussion, abrasions to her neck and a cut to her head that required a staple to close, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Upper Merion Police officers started chasing the SUV when they noticed it driving down Interstate 76, in the Gulph Mills area. They requested help from the Pennsylvania State Police, who took over the chase when the car passed the area of City Line Avenue.
The teens got off on Spring Garden Street, the UMPD said. One of the state trooper vehicles tried to spin out the suspect car, but the boy behind the wheel regained control and kept driving west on Spring Garden Street before colliding with the SEPTA bus.
SkyForce10 was over the scene Tuesday night as crews surrounded the mangled SUV in the middle of the street. The bus wound up in a wooded area, though it did not appear to have sustained serious damage.
Six passengers plus the bus driver reported minor injuries, Upper Merion police said. Meanwhile, officers were able to take the two girls out the SUV and start treating them, but they boy remained pinned inside until firefighters with the Philadelphia Fire Department pulled him out.
All three teens were taken to area hospitals to be treated. The boy and one of the girls, both 17, remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon as they underwent surgery for injuries sustained in the crash, Upper Merion Police Department Chief Thomas Nolan said. The 14-year-old was released from the hospital and placed in a Montgomery County juvenile detention facility.
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Both 17-year-olds were charged as adults and the 14-year-old as a juvenile, Nolan said. The older pair face multiple counts of assault, theft and strangulation, with the boy also facing an additional charge of fleeing police, since he was the one allegedly driving the stolen SUV.