An attempted catalytic converter theft turned into a car chase and ended with an officer shooting a man in Reading on Thursday morning, according to the Berks County District Attorney’s Office.
The driver of the vehicle, Tyvan Barnett, was shot in the leg by an unidentified officer as he walked towards police, according to a statement from the prosecutor on Facebook. Barnett was treated at Tower Health – Reading Hospital for his injury.
Authorities said they responded to multiple calls about three men who allegedly tried to steal catalytic converters from vehicles parked near the 2000 block of South Fifth Street in Reading.
When police arrived on the scene, according to the DA, the three suspects drove off in a black Honda Accord and a chase ensued.
Police reportedly followed the vehicle through Reading City, before entering Route 422 westbound and then Route 12 eastbound. The vehicle then left Highway 12 at the River Road exit where it came to a stop after entering a dead end street, police said.
“As officers exited their marked vehicle and issued verbal orders, the occupants of that vehicle did not comply with orders and rushed towards one of the officers,” District Attorney John T’s office said. Adams. “An officer discharged his service weapon at this vehicle.”
Authorities said the vehicle then sped towards officers, hitting one of the police vehicles before coming to a stop along the 4000 block of River Road in Muhlenberg Township, where two occupants were arrested and medical help was called for Barnett.
Barnett faces charges of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, fleeing from or attempting to evade a police officer, felony attempted robbery by unlawful seizure, receiving stolen property and of criminal conspiracy.
A passenger in the vehicle was taken to Berks County Central Reservations to await a preliminary arraignment on charges of attempted felony theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy.
A third unidentified passenger who was seated in the front seat was able to flee officers on foot, investigators said. Police said the passenger’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Police are asking anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Berks County Detectives at 610-478-7171 or submit an anonymous report to Crime Alert Berks County by calling 877-373-9913, downloading the ALERTBERKS app on your mobile device, or by SMS using your mobile phone and typing ALERTBERKS with your tip to 847411.
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