CHADDS FORD >> Dana Loundas knew something wasn’t quite right when she saw a car zooming down Creek Road, on the wrong side, at a high rate of speed Wednesday morning. Then she heard the sirens.
“He must have been going 70 miles per hour,” said Loundas, who was traveling south on Creek Road in her Acura RDX. “I noticed the back bumper completely pried away from the car, flapping in the wind. The car veered to the right, kicked a berm, went back to the left, and then to the right and hit a tree. I saw the limbs come down, and the car went up in the air. Then I saw the car come down.”
According to State Police, Troop K, Media, the chase began when authorities were alerted to a suspicious vehicle at KinderCare Daycare in Concord Township just before 8 a.m. April 6. When the vehicle’s occupants saw troopers, they took off, and a high-speed chase ensued.
The chase led to Creek Road, near the Chadds Ford Historical Society, where police had barricaded the road in an effort to capture the suspects. That’s when Loundas, who was on her way to a meeting of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce, came upon the police roadblock.
As she sat in the roadblock, near Hank’s Place close to Route 1, getting ready to make a U-Turn, she noticed one of the suspects.
“I was sitting in my car, third or fourth in line, and I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “Then I saw this guy walking, and he kept looking over his shoulder, trying to blend in. Whether you are running or walking on Creek Road, you can’t blend in. I never see pedestrians on that road. Then I see a police officer running down a hilly driveway.
That’s when a trooper grabbed the passenger door handle to her car, trying to get in. But the door was locked.
Loundas quickly unlocked it.“He told me that he had to get that guy. It was quicker for him in the car than on foot. So I floored it. I ride my bike on Creek Road so I know they can disperse off into the woods. There are lot of places they can go.”
Loundas’ Acura quickly caught up to the suspect, the trooper got out and pursued, taser in hand.
“He flung the door open,” she said. “I thought it was going to smash a telephone pole. Then I heard him on the radio say he has the suspect in view.
Loundas said the suspect climbed a wooden fence, but was quickly captured by police officers.
“I was so nervous,” Loundas said. “I was a single woman in a car. Thank God no one was hurt, but that car was in bad shape. I just didn’t want them to get away.”
Police have identified the suspects as a 16-year-old male juvenile from Florida, and Joel Stokes, 22, also of Florida. They have been charged with fleeing and eluding police, theft, and recklessly endangering others. Other charges are pending.
According to online court records, Stokes is being held at the county prison in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled April 14 before Magisterial District Judge Wendy B. Roberts.