The pursuit of a vehicle by law enforcement has the most potential for officer and innocent bystander injury as well as the potential for civil liability. This is especially true when executing the PIT maneuver, which often causes damage to the patrol vehicle and can cause injury and damage to nearby uninvolved motorists. PIT stands for Pursuit Immobilization Technique and it originated with the California Highway Patrol in the 1970s. The technique was later perfected by an advanced driving and police pursuit academy in West Virginia. Since then, it has been viewed by most law enforcement agencies as a safe way of ending a pursuit.
News 4 Jax reports that a man stole an unmarked police vehicle and crashed on I-95 after police executed a PIT maneuver.
Officers with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department were looking for a driver who had been reported driving recklessly near I-95 and State Road 16. The vehicle was spotted by a deputy in the area who approached the vehicle.
A man who was covered in blood got out of the driver’s seat and a woman exited from the passenger’s seat. They went in opposite directions. A deputy who had been in an unmarked vehicle came to the scene to offer assistance.
The lieutenant who stopped to assist went to the rear of his vehicle for equipment and the man broke free from the deputy who was attempting to place him in handcuffs. Officers tried to taser the man, but the wire broke free.
The man got into the unmarked cruiser and took off on I-95. The officer gave chase and was able to execute a PIT maneuver on southbound I-95 near the exit for State Road 206.
The driver of the stolen police vehicle was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He is suspected of being involved in a series of unspecified criminal events that took place in Jacksonville. It is believed those events were how the man sustained his injuries.