Alleged car thieves crash stolen car into police chief's cruiser

FOX 35 News at 10 p.m.

- It was a wild scene on the streets of Daytona Beach on Tuesday afternoon.   A stolen car with three teens inside plowed into the cruiser of Police Chief Mike Chitwood while he and another officer were trying to stop it.

"They are knuckle heads. They are idiots," said Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood.  He was talking about the three teens he said trashed his police cruiser Tuesday afternoon.  The chief has been driving this car for nine years, and Tuesday, it took a beating .

It all started around 4 p.m. on Nova Road in Daytona Beach.   A woman left her keys in the ignition and left her car.   Chitwood says three 16-year-old boys stole the car, and as police started to follow them, they would not pull over ,despite having two flat tires. 

The wild ride ended at the intersection of Dunn Avenue and White Street. Chitwood says the driver side swiped his cruiser, causing his car to spin out.  The teens were arrested a few minutes later after bailing out of the car.

Chief Chitwood said, "The concerns are that we have 16 year olds, who are out there. They are out and out thugs, and they are out there running around putting their lives in danger, the community's lives in danger and the police lives in danger."

The chief believes the juvenile justice system has to be tougher on teens who endanger the rest of us.  He said, "The driver of the car, the one that rammed me and spun me out, operating a stolen car, on two flat tires, refusing to stop for police. This isn't his first rodeo with us. He was arrested on January 9th for a slew of charges."

Police urge residents to stop leaving keys in the ignition so their cars will not be used to commit crimes.  The chief explained, "Those stolen cars are used to sell dope, to do robberies, to do other stolen cars, car breaks and robberies."

Chief Chitwood says there is a dashboard camera video from one of the police cruisers showing part of the incident.  He hopes to release that video to the media later this week
 

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