What started as a carjacking turned into a Fresno police chase that ended with a three-vehicle accident Thursday afternoon.
The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. at the intersection of Olive and Arthur avenues in the Tower District.
The alleged carjacker complained of pain and one person in a truck that was hit in the crash was injured. Both were taken to Community Regional Medical Center. Their conditions were not known but did not appear to be life-threatening.
Police Lt. Rob Beckwith said the suspect, a man in his 30s, was on probation and had a history of drug use. His name was not released.
The carjacking took place about 50 minutes earlier outside dd’s Discounts store on West Avenue in central Fresno, Beckwith said. He described what unfolded:
At 2:55 p.m., a man pulled a knife on a woman who had a 1-year-old child with her in the shopping center parking lot on West at Griffith Way. The woman protected the child and the man stole her SUV, a Jeep Patriot.
Officers caught up to the Jeep but the driver wouldn’t yield to commands to stop. A chase started but officers backed off once a police helicopter arrived overhead.
The man driving the Jeep was headed south on Arthur when he ran a stop sign and collided with a car and a truck on Olive. The suspected carjacker was stuck in the Jeep because the doors would not open. Firefighters got him free and police detained him.
There were three people in the truck including a 6-year-old boy in a car seat. He was not hurt.
There were three women in the car that was hit.