Police: Driver of Trans Am leads officers in chase, crashes into wall in Youngstown


A police chase in Youngstown Thursday ended in a crash and the driver trying to convince police he wasn’t their man.

According to a police report, officers were patrolling the south side about 2:48 a.m. when they say they saw 22-year-old Leon Haskins fail to signal as he was turning onto Erie Street. Officers tried to pull him over, but they say he took off and a chase ensued.

Police say Haskins drove through several streets on the south side, ignoring stop signs and traffic lights. At that point, police lost sight of Haskins until another police unit said they saw the Trans Am Haskins was driving flying down Market Street at over 100 miles per hour, disregarding every traffic light, the report stated. At that point, the chase was called off.

A short time later, police got a call that a Trans Am crashed into a wall at the Madison Avenue Expressway and the Interstate 680 exit. Witnesses said they saw a man get out of the car and run away.

Police were able to track down the address associated with the VIN number on the Trans Am to a house on Evergreen Ave. Just after the crash, another officer said he spotted an SUV driving around the area of the crash and that vehicle’s registration also came to back to the same address on Evergreen Ave.

Officers located the SUV and stopped the driver on Salt Springs Road. A male passenger inside the SUV fit the description of Haskins. However, Haskins told police that they were just looking for the wreck and he wasn’t the person involved in the police chase, at which time police asked him, “What chase?” Officers also noted that Haskins was covered in dust consistent with airbag deployment and that keys in his pocket fit the ignition of the Trans Am.

Haskins was arrested and charged with driving under suspension and failure to comply with a police signal.

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