Wendy Reuer, Published May 16 2012
Police: Car theft suspect hits 55 mph on 13th Avenue before crashing, taking swing at officerFARGO – Multiple people were taken to the hospital after a man here allegedly stole a car before causing multiple accidents and taking a swing at a police officer this afternoon.
Lt. Joel Vettel saw the man speeding east on 13th Avenue South, attempting to go around cars and cutting others off, after 3 p.m.
The man’s car struck another vehicle in the 1000 block of 13th Avenue South when he changed lanes while speeding, Vettel said.
The man then struck another car on Ninth Street South, sending the car into a light pole and tree. A woman and small child who were passengers in that vehicle were sent to the hospital to be treated for injuries, Vettel said.
The second collision caused the man’s car to come to rest in the intersection of Eighth Street and 13th Avenue South. Vettel said the man got out and attacked him, grazing his face as he swung at him.
Vettel said he and two firefighters who arrived on scene several minutes later subdued the suspect.
Curtis David Harrington, 21, of Fargo was arrested on suspicion of assault of a police officer, possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless endangerment and driving under the influence, Vettel said. He was taken to the hospital.
A fourth person was also injured and taken to a Fargo hospital, he said.
Vettel said police are investigating if Harrington was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“We believe he was under the influence just based on his behavior both before and after,” Vettel said.
Vettel said Harrington reached speeds between 50 mph and 55 mph. He was likely driving about 45 mph when he caused the second accident, he said.
“We don’t know what he motivation was for driving that fast,” he said.
Adam Snyder, 28, of Fargo also witnessed the incident. He was driving near 13th Avenue and South University Drive when he saw Harrington’s speeding car. Snyder watched with amazement as Harrington erratically sped around cars, narrowly missing many.
Snyder said it appeared as though two pedestrians dove onto a boulevard to avoid being hit by Harrington, as well.