WHITEHALL, Ohio (WCMH) – Four juveniles are under arrest after allegedly ramming Whitehall police cruisers in a stolen vehicle.
According to Whitehall Police, an officer saw a 2018 blue Hyundai Elantra driving north on South Hamilton Road at approximately 8 p.m. Monday night.
The vehicle was reportedly stolen from Grove City, fleeing from police officers there during an attempted traffic stop.
Whitehall police said officers waited until the Elantra parked in the parking lot of the Turkey Hill store located on South Hamilton Road. Three police cruisers then blocked the stolen car, trying to stop it from leaving the lot.
Above: Raw video of officers stopping the stolen vehicle in Whitehall.
The driver of the Elantra then started ramming the cruisers by driving back and forth. The Elantra also hit an unoccupied bystander car.
Police said a cruiser was able to pin the stolen vehicle against another car, stopping the suspects from ramming other cars or police officers.
Whitehall Police said the driver was 16 and the three passengers in the vehicle were 15, 13, and 12.
Whitehall Police Chief Mike Crispen said the 16-year-old was smiling and laughing when they were removed from the car.
“It seems these juveniles are not concerned with the ramifications to their actions and they think this is funny,” he said.
Police suspect the same group of juveniles in another car theft earlier in the day Monday.
“Unfortunately, this has become all too common in Franklin County and the greater Columbus area,” said Whitehall Police Deputy Chief Dan Kelso. “We struggle to balance the danger the juveniles create for our citizens while driving these stolen cars, with the danger and havoc they create when we try to take them into custody for their crimes.”
He said situations like this one, juveniles wiring cars like the Hyundai and going for a joyride, are becoming too common.
“I wish I could tell you I was shocked,” Kelso said. “I really wish I could sit here like this was the first time I ever sat in front of a camera. We’ve had repeat offenders that are 12, 13, 14 that are driving cars like this.”
Kelso said similar situations have played out time and time again, and he said it’s a recipe for disaster.
“It’s really scary not only for us but for everyone else on the road because whether we make the decision not to chase them because we’re scared they are going to hurt or kill some, we are still letting them go and they are still going to hurt and kill someone,” he said.
Police are continuing to investigate the incidents.