Police: 2 kids critical after handcuffed teen flees from officers, crashes SUV

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Two children were critically injured when a 17-year-old girl crashed an SUV into a wall after allegedly fleeing from Phoenix police.

The teen was contacted by a police officer in a parking lot near 51st Avenue and Indian School Road after someone reported that two kids were left in a hot SUV.

The officer had been patrolling the lot for cars parked in handicapped spots and went to check the SUV. The officer reportedly saw the teen walk toward the vehicle but then change direction.

When approached by the officer, she reportedly denied knowing the kids but later admitted they were with her.

Believing the teen was giving him false information, the officer handcuffed her and told her to sit on a curb while he did a records check.

Police said the teen then managed to slip the handcuffs to the front of her body, hop in the driver's seat of the SUV and drive away with the children.

Another officer arrived and punched out a window of the SUV but was unable to stop it, police said.

Police identified a home address for the teen near 49th Avenue and Heatherbrae Drive. While an officer was trying to track her down, a call came across the radio that an SUV had crashed into a brick wall.

The two kids, ages 5 and 8, were reportedly not restrained. Police said at least one child was ejected, and both were taken to a hospital.

"One lady I felt sorry for because she was on the scene first, and she was picking the cinderblocks off the children because they got thrown from the vehicle," said Connie White, who lives in the neighborhood.

Police said the teen will face serious charges.

The relationship between the teen and children was not immediately clear.

The officer who punched out the window of the SUV was slightly injured.