Deadly police chase prompts debate over tire-slashing device

(Media General photo)
(Media General photo)

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A police chase that killed three people has Pennsylvania officials debating the use of tire-slashing devices to prevent suspects from fleeing during traffic stops.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. wants to buy the $140 devices so officers can use them to flatten a tire if the driver takes off.

But local police agencies tell The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette they fear officers could be vulnerable when they bend down to place the spiked sticks under a car.

The debate comes as Zappala reviews the Thanksgiving Day chase that killed a couple and their 2-year-old when their car was struck by a suspect fleeing at more than 100 miles per hour.

Authorities say 22-year-old Demetrius Coleman of Homewood fled as an officer learned he was being sought over a probation violation.