ONLY ON 4: Body cam video shows woman stealing police car in North County
Vinita Park, Mo. (KMOV) - A St. Charles woman is in a psychiatric hospital after she took off in a North County Police Cooperative squad car.
Officers were called to Capehart Drive Sunday to assist in a mental health and substance abuse call.
In the body camera video, one officer tells the woman, “Listen you’re not in trouble so just relax.” Moments later, she runs from the officers, hops in the patrol car, and drives off.
“When our officers were there, they certainly kept the situation very calm, very lowkey and they were trying to get this young lady some help,” says Major Ron Martin of North County Police Co-op.
Cameras captured officers chasing down the vehicle as it crashed into a tree and then smashing into another one.
“She just bust a U-turn and hopped in the car,” said witness Scharell Houston.
The incident happened in front of Houston’s home. She recorded a video of it on her cellphone and spoke with the woman before the police arrived.
“She just asked if she could sit down for a moment to get herself together,” said Houston. “Then when she got up she was trying to go into people’s houses and go into people’s cars.”
Now the Vinita Park mayor tells News 4 he wants to use the body cam video to show the department needs funding for a 24/7 mental health crisis team to accompany officers.
According to North County Police Co-Op, 75% of their critical intervention treatment calls result in the person being taken to the hospital for psychiatric treatment.
“We want to take this video on the road especially up there to Jeff City,” says Mayor James McGee. “They expect our police to wear too many hats.”
“They’re passionate about making things work in the community and that’s what’s saving us,” says Major Martin.
“I’m sorry they lost the squad car but I’m glad everybody walked away peacefully,” says Houston. “I’m just thankful that at the end of it all you still maintained your composure. You didn’t let this stuff get you out of hand and you continued with your job.”
No one was severely injured. The car may be a total loss. The woman has not officially been charged as police are still waiting for a psychiatric evaluation.
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