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Reckless Driver Causes Police Pursuit & Thousands of Dollars in Damage in Troy

By JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent | April 04, 2022 | NEW YORK

Story No. 050222108

TROY, NY - On April 4th around 12:38 P.M., the Watervliet Police Department attempted to make a traffic stop on a dark colored four door sedan in the area of 16th Street for a violation of NYS motor vehicle and traffic laws. The driver of the vehicle did not comply with officers and took off at a high rate of speed.

The City of Watervliet Police Department pursued the suspect, who was traveling at a significant rate of speed, onto 2nd Avenue and over the Congress Street bridge. As the suspect came through the tunnel, which was heavily congested with afternoon traffic, he lost control of the vehicle and hit the wall of the tunnel. The impact caused the vehicle to spin around and hit the wall again, sending the car flying into another vehicle that was stopped at the traffic light, entrapping that driver in their vehicle.

As another responding unit from the city of Watervliet came into the tunnel, they hit a patch of water and began to hydroplane, causing the vehicle to crash as the SUV‘s tires and a front panel blew out. A police officer attempted to get the suspect to comply, but the individual resisted arrest, causing the officer to deploy a taser onto the suspect. The individual then dropped to the ground and quickly complied. The officer placed the individual into handcuffs.

Additional police officers from the City of Troy arrived on scene and ran over to check on the other driver, who was confirmed to be trapped in his vehicle and needed to be extricated by the fire department.

Engine 6, Medic 4, the rescue squad, and the battalion chief arrived on scene and Engine 6's crew quickly deployed a one-and-three-quarter inch hand line to the front of the vehicle in case of a fire. Members of the rescue squad pulled past the scene and began to set up their cutters and spreader tools to begin extrication. A member of the rescue squad climbed inside the vehicle and placed an extrication blanket over the driver to protect him from any glass or sharp metals while crews began cutting the doors off the front passenger side. After all the doors were cut off, firefighters began their final cut of the 'B' post in the center of the vehicle and safely extricated the driver to a stretcher.

Police advised the battalion chief that they needed an additional ambulance for the suspect, who had been injured during the chase. As that ambulance arrived on scene, police walked the suspect over where he was evaluated and transported to the hospital. The driver of the vehicle that was extricated was immediately transported to the nearest hospital for evaluation. The officer involved in the other accident was not injured.

Multiple people that witnessed the incident were in complete shock at the utter destruction the suspect caused. One of the witnesses, Francis of Albany, stated "If you run from the cops, you know that you are placing everyone around you in a dangerous situation and these people that do this need to be held accountable for their actions just like we hold our police officers accountable for theirs.”

Another witness who wanted to remain anonymous stated “The vehicle just flew past us, hit the wall and spun around and hit the other car and it looked like something from a movie. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought he killed the other driver."

The suspect, 46-year-old Cleveland Evans from Brooklyn, was taken into custody by the Watervliet Police Department and charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the 3rd Degree (Unclassified Misdemeanor), Reckless Driving (Unclassified Misdemeanor), and several other vehicle and traffic law violations. Evans was issued an appearance ticket and directed to appear in Watervliet City Court at a later date. Evans is also facing several other criminal charges from the City of Troy Police Department including Resisting Arrest, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree, and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.