A high-speed chase ended Wednesday afternoon in Westtown Township after a Pennsylvania state trooper shot into a fleeing van and another officer maneuvered to get the vehicle to stop, authorities said Thursday.
Five people were inside the van, including a 10-year-old child, and no one was injured, according to authorities. The shooting is under review, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office said.
The chase began after a West Goshen Township police officer received information about a stolen U-Haul van, and then tried to stop the vehicle. Authorities said the driver of the van led police along Route 202, then to Route 252, and back to Route 202, “going up to 100 m.p.h while weaving in and out of traffic for several miles.”
Law enforcement tried three times to disable the van using spike strips, the district attorney’s office said. A state trooper used a tactical maneuver that forced the van off the road at Route 202 and West Pleasant Grove Road.
When the operator of the van still tried to drive away from police, the district attorney’s office said, a state trooper shot one round from his handgun. “The fired round struck above the rear tire on the driver’s side and traveled through the van’s cargo area before exiting on the passenger side,” according to the District Attorney’s office. Then another trooper managed to stop the van.
In addition to the male driver, identified as Antoine Freeman, 29, of Wilmington, and the 10-year-old, a woman and two other men were inside the van. Authorities also recovered four plastic bags believed to contain heroin, the District Attorney’s office said.
In its statement Thursday, the District Attorney’s office said Freeman has been charged with aggravated assault, receiving stolen property, fleeing and eluding, and recklessly endangering another person, among other charges.
One of the passengers, Earl White, 66, also of Wilmington, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the DA’s office.