MONESSEN – A Uniontown woman was jailed after being accused of stealing a Monessen police cruiser and crashing it into a tree early Monday.

City police said Jamya Dee Avona Leonard, 19, stole the cruiser about 3:30 a.m. after a slow-speed pursuit of a differing vehicle in which she was a passenger.

The driver of that vehicle fled from a traffic stop on Oneida Avenue and eluded capture during a foot chase involving the officer in the police cruiser, court records indicate.

The police pursuit began after a security guard at Cleveland-Cliffs Coke Works reported a black car driving on three tires and a rim in the wrong direction in the 300 block of Donner Avenue.

At one point the car drove onto a sidewalk and into a parking lot before returning to Donner and eventually stopping in a different lot along Oneida Street, charging documents.

The officer drew his weapon on Leonard and the unidentified driver before the suspect ran away, court papers said.

The officer, identified in court records as Lt. Aaron C. Thompson, called for assistance from numerous local police departments before receiving a call that a police cruiser had crashed in the 400 block of Oneida.

Rostraver Township police found Leonard with lumps on her head at First Street and Schoonmaker Avenue. She told police she was injured by the cruiser’s air bag when she wrecked the vehicle, which was found crashed into a tree with extensive damages.

Leonard, of 60 Pershing Court, was charged with theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment.

District Judge Wayne Vlasic sent her to Westmoreland County jail on $20,000 bond.

(1) comment


Rosco left the keys in the ignition.

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