Police pursue alleged carjacker through West Valley streets

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
Tabatha Michelle Parker, 29 By Mike Gertzman Tabatha Michelle Parker, 29 By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A reported carjacking led to a police pursuit in Peoria Tuesday night. The pursuit ended peacefully about a half hour later.

It started just after 10 p.m. near 83rd Avenue and Union Hills Drive. Chopper 3 was overhead as police followed the dark-colored pickup truck as it drove at slow speeds through West Valley streets.

According to police, it all started when Tabatha Parker approached the victim and asked for help finding her husband. The woman agreed to help and allowed Parker into her truck.

As they were driving, Parker apparently decided she wanted the truck. Police said she bit the victim's hand, unbuckled her seat belt and forced her out of the vehicle. The victim dialed 911.

Police said Parker showed some risky behaviors as she eluded officers, including driving the wrong way down the street, driving up on sidewalks and swerving into oncoming traffic. There were several near-collisions with other vehicles.

"It was just mindblowing. It was crazy. It was different," said Gary Scott, who witnessed the pursuit.

Parker also circled through parking lots and wove her way through residential neighborhoods. Additionally, Parker reportedly ran several red lights and stop signs.

"She actually drives through a parking lot and almost hits a 30-year-old man that was there in that parking lot," said Peoria police spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto. "He's able to run out of the way just in time. She actually clips the back of his shoe."

At one point, someone in the truck was waving what appeared to be a white shirt out the window.

Police attempted to throw down stop sticks to slow Parker down, but she actually drove toward an officer, then continued driving.

Officers from the Department of Public Safety and Glendale and Peoria police departments were involved.

The pursuit ended about a half hour later as Parker surrendered peacefully. She pulled over near 91st Avenue and Union Hills Drive after the fourth set of stop sticks punctured the truck's tires. Parker emerged from the truck with her hands up, and was taken into custody.

No bystanders were hurt.