Two men, one with a gun, were so motivated to elude authorities yesterday in Delaware County that they fled from a traffic stop on I-95 with two police officers dangling from their vehicle, state police said.
One of the officers, Trooper Joseph Thompson of the Belmont barracks, managed to get off a shot, hitting the passenger in a thigh before both officers were thrown from the speeding black Kia, said Trooper Jonathan Sunderlin, a spokesman for the Media barracks. He said the officers returned to their vehicles, radioed for assistance, and headed south on I-95 in pursuit. He said the officers lost sight of the vehicle near Chester.
Sunderlin said the suspects were apprehended at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where police had been sent in case the pair sought medical treatment. The driver, identified as Robert Hill, 23, of Manassas, Va., was taken to the Media barracks. The passenger, Kalair Haynes, 22, also of Manassas, remained at the hospital under guard, state police said. Sunderlin said both would likely face charges that include aggravated assault on a police officer.
The trooper and officer were treated for minor injuries.
The incident began at 3:06 p.m. near Exit 9 on southbound I-95 when Thompson stopped the Kia, a rental car with Maryland plates; Sunderlin said he did not know the reason for the stop. He said the driver got out of the vehicle and was talking to Thompson when a Tinicum officer arrived. As the Tinicum officer, whose name Tinicum police did not release last night, took over the questioning of Hill, Thompson walked around to talk to the passenger and saw that he had a gun, Sunderlin said.
The driver then forced his way back into the car, and both officers tried to get the men out of the vehicle.
"Their upper bodies are inside the car as the car starts pulling away," Sunderlin said. "It was pretty chaotic."
He said he did not know whether the suspect fired at police.
Sunderlin said Thompson was heard over the radio saying, "I fired a shot and I know I hit him."
The suspects apparently got off I-95 near Widener University in Chester, parked in a lot at 17th and Chestnut Streets, and were driven to the hospital by a passing motorist they had flagged down, state police said. Sunderlin estimated that was about 20 to 25 minutes after the traffic stop. Sunderlin said police towed the Kia to the Media barracks and had applied for a search warrant. He said police hoped to recover the passenger's gun.