Phoenix police: 5-year-old, 8-year-old critical after handcuffed teen flees from police, crashes

PHOENIX - Two young kids are hospitalized in critical condition, and a teenage driver is in police custody, after she allegedly tried to evade police while wearing handcuffs, and crashed into a brick wall in a Phoenix neighborhood, according to Phoenix police.

Tommy Thompson, spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, said the incident started in a shopping center parking lot near 51st Avenue and Indian School Road after an officer noticed two kids--ages 5 and 8, were sitting in a vehicle unattended. The vehicle was not on.

The officer was investigating the incident as a possible "kids in hot car" situation, according to Phoenix police.

Thompson said the 17-year-old driver approached the officer shortly after discovering the kids, but initially tried to act like she wasn't associated with the children. At some point the teenager was placed into handcuffs.

The 17-year-old then maneuvered the handcuffs from behind her to in front of her and jumped in the front seat of the vehicle and turned it on, according to Thompson. The officer punched out the driver's window and the teenager allegedly tried to punch the officer back.

The teenager was able to get away, Thompson said.

"All of those individuals were taken to the hospital. The officer sustained some injuries when he broke out the window to try to stop her, to try to get away, he was actually, I'm led to believe, he was drug for a few feet before he could get away, to try to get in there and stop her from getting away," he said.

Officers then received a phone call regarding a crash, which was located a few blocks away from the suspect's home. Air15 video showed the suspect's vehicle had crashed into a cement wall and suffered significant damage.

Tony Mure, of Phoenix Fire, said one of the children was thrown from the vehicle. Thompson said the 5-year-old and the 8-year-old were both transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

Authorities said the 17-year-old was supposed to be babysitting the two children, however, no other details were released. It is not known what caused the teenager to crash the vehicle.

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