FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) - A teen, armed with a gun, leads police on a chase in two jurisdictions and with his two friends trapped in the car. The vehicle crashed on the front steps of New Northside Missionary Baptist Church. Church leaders said they are thankful.
"Had it been Sunday morning, then we really would have had a bad situation here."
But, the concrete steps outside the church were almost destroyed at 1:30 Thursday morning.
"Normally," pointed out Deacon Bobby Tabb. "We would have as much as maybe a hundred people crossing this street at any given time."
Police say an officer saw a 19 year old blow a red light at New Halls Ferry Road just south of Interstate-270 in Ferguson, Missouri.
"The car actually did pull over," said Captain Rick Henke. "The officer approached the car, and saw the gun. [The suspect] doesn't have a criminal history that would indicate that he would be pointing a weapon at an officer. But yet, he did."
The driver took off, with two terrified friends.
"They kept yelling at the driver to stop." Henke said. "There was no reason for him to run, but he continued to run."
That is, until the driver crashed into the front steps of the church in North St. Louis City. Even then, Henke said only a Taser could stop the armed suspect. Tabb said the damage could cost $5,000. Elderly members need the banister.
"Yes, we're going to miss that this Sunday. I guess we're gonna have to have someone out here to help them get up that area."
Police locked up everyone in the car while they checked the passengers for warrants. Despite having to shell out thousands of dollars, the church seems to be holding out open arms to the suspect.
"So many of our young kids get into problems now, and we're trying to help them all," Tabb said. "We can help them, if we know who they are."
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