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Bridgeport youths facing charges

by Paul Darst

STAFF WRITER

Two Bridgeport juveniles were arrested in Morgantown Wednesday after they allegedly fled from police by jumping from a stolen, moving car, which then hit a street sweeper.

A Westover police officer tired to stop the boys for a traffic violation about 2 a.m., when they jumped from the vehicle, Police Chief James Smith said.

The 1998 Dodge Durango, later reported stolen from a Bridgeport residence, then rolled into a Morgantown city street sweeper, Smith said.

"Our officer pursued them on foot and caught one. A sheriff's deputy and a Morgantown officer found the other one," he said.

Westover police charged the youths with fleeing and possession of stolen property, Smith said. Charges also are pending in Morgantown and Bridgeport, police said.

Damage to the street sweeper was minimal and its driver was not injured, said Bill Rumble, director of the city Street Department.

Investigators believe the boys' journey started in Bridgeport Tuesday night, Bridgeport officer Randy Hartley said. He was unsure of the boys' ages.

"The midnight shift had a report of somebody tampering with a vehicle on Pennsylvania Avenue," he said Wednesday. "A witness got the license plate number."

The number matches the one on the Durango that was wrecked in Morgantown, he said. That vehicle was reported stolen at about 6:30 a.m.

Investigators found in the Durango several items they believe were stolen, Smith said.

Westover police released the boys into the custody of their parents Wednesday morning, Smith said.

Staff writer Paul Darst can be reached at 626-1404.

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