Catasauqua Press

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Driver flees police stop, crashes car into Catty building

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

On Jan. 16, when a Catasauqua police officer pulled over Melissa Sweeney, 32, based on an outstanding warrant, things turned out to be less than routine.

The officer making the stop noticed a child in the back of the car and alerted borough Police Chief Douglas Kish. The officer told the driver she could not drive any further on her suspended license.

Kish said as he arrived at the Second Street location and approached Sweeney’s car, she stepped on the accelerator and sped south on Second Street, narrowly missing the chief.

“It surprised me. This was early in the morning, but I was able to jump out of the way,” Kish said.

According to the report, Sweeney sped down Second Street, with a police car in tow, and through the stop sign at Second and Race streets, crashing into an apartment building near 11th Street.

The chase brought out a lot of police cars, and an ambulance arrived after the crash.

“People think they can outrun the cars,” Kish said, “but it’s hard to outrun the radio.”

Kish said officers had a struggle getting Sweeney out of the car, adding Sweeney screamed she was being hurt.

The incident was recorded by a local resident, who posted it on social media.

“I think the video was up on Facebook before we had her to the station,” Kish said. “After she calmed down, she apologized saying how sorry she was.”

As Kish explained, this was a routine stop based on the warrant. Sweeney had a suspended license and an outstanding warrant.

“If she complied, she would be arraigned and be home. Now she has a list of new charges, a big bail to pay and is in the county jail,” Kish said.

Sweeney, of Catasauqua, has been charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, escape, child endangerment, resisting arrest, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license, Kish said.

The child in Sweeney’s vehicle was not injured in the crash, Kish added.