An irrational driver hijacked a car and struck three vehicles and a small school bus Monday during a police chase that ended on Ridge Road, where she refused to get out of the vehicle, Lackawanna police reported.
Two people – including a police officer – were injured during the rampage.
India Cummings, 27, of Knowlton Road, was arrested near Steve’s Ox & Pig Roast, 951 Ridge, just before 2 p.m., said Lackawanna Police Capt. Joseph Leo.
“She was either high or had a problem,” said Leo, who described the strange series of events.
The initial call came in to 911 dispatchers around 1:30 p.m. Monday from the woman who complained of shortness of breath, said Leo. But the phone went dead, and when firefighters responded to the call on Knowlton, Cummings ran toward South Park Avenue, where she flagged down a driver, Leo said.
“He stops. She ripped the door open, punched him in the face and dragged him out of the car,” Leo said. “She takes off in the car – a gray Ford Taurus – and first headed south on South Park before turning around. She was driving like a maniac.”
Cummings “was way ahead of police when she started hitting cars,” Leo said. The final vehicle was at Rosary Avenue and Ridge near the restaurant, Leo said.
“She struck that vehicle pretty good,” said Leo. “That driver sought medical treatment.”
When Officer Robert Balcarczyk approached the vehicle, the woman refused to get out, Leo said.
“It appeared like she was trying to take off again, so Balcarczyk smashed through the driver’s window injuring his hand,” Leo said.
Cummings was charged with reckless endangerment, robbery, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, reckless driving, harassment, resisting arrest and speeding.
Cummings is being held on $15,000 bail in the Erie County Holding Center.