Breaking News
More () »

Richmond police finally nab suspect after hour-long pursuit of stolen street sweeper

Police said the street sweeper was reportedly stolen from a construction company working on a project near Sim Hodgin Parkway in Richmond.
Credit: Adobe Stock/BestStockFoto

INDIANAPOLIS — Police in Richmond found themselves in a bizarre pursuit over the weekend.

Officers received a report around 1:30 a.m. Sunday of a person driving a piece of heavy machinery recklessly, striking other vehicles and reportedly swerving toward people and driving through yards. 

Police responded to the 900 block of Butler Street, where the reports originated, and couldn't find any damaged vehicles, but soon located the reported machinery, which was identified as a street sweeper that had been stolen from a construction site.

The officers pursued the sweeper for over an hour through the city. At one point, police said the driver, identified as 54-year-old Sammy H. Allen of Richmond, struck a garage on South 8th Street several times, causing part of the building to collapse. The driver almost flipped the street sweeper while striking the garage. 

Allen reportedly swerved around spike strips laid out by police and also swerved toward one of the officers that was deploying the strips. One tire was punctured by a spike, but that did not disable the street sweeper.

Just over an hour after the pursuit began, Allen reportedly drove the stolen equipment into a river near Veterans Memorial Park. With the street sweeper disabled, the driver tried to run away, but was taken into custody by Richmond police officers and a K-9 from the Wayne County Sheriff's Department. 

Allen was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries inflicted by the police K-9's apprehension, as well as facial injuries he sustained in the struggle with police officers. 

One officer was treated at Reid Health after the pursuit, but was later released to duty.

Richmond Police Capt. Curt Leverton said there were no major injuries sustained in the incident.

"There is no such thing as a normal day for police officers!" Leverton said in an email.

Allen will be preliminarily charged with vehicle theft, resisting law enforcement, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving.