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December 5, 2013

Baby found, resuscitated after Okla. car chase

Tulsa World

TULSA, Okla. — An unresponsive baby that was later resuscitated is expected to recover after being found Tuesday afternoon on the floorboard of a car that had been pursued by Tulsa police just a few minutes earlier, police said.

The baby's father, Andrew Michael Crowels, 18, of Tulsa, was arrested shortly after he got out of the car's driver's seat and ran away, police said.

The eastbound Pontiac sedan Crowels was driving was clocked going about 75 mph — at least 30 mph more than the speed limit — near 71st Street and Elwood Avenue and eventually ran through a red light at 71st and Riverside Drive, Capt. Cathy Reynolds said.

Officers initially pursued the fleeing vehicle — which Reynolds said reached speeds approaching 100 mph — before opting not to continue chasing it because of the amount of traffic in the area, she said.

Despite having ended the pursuit, officers could see the car pull into the parking area at the China King restaurant at 1330 E. 71st St., Reynolds said.

She said Crowels fled on foot but was quickly caught and mentioned the baby.

Officers then saw the roughly 6-month-old child in the vehicle's back floorboard, stuck partially under one of the front seats, Child Crisis Unit Cpl. Greg Smith said.

The infant was initially alert but became unresponsive, he said.

"There was a car seat in the vehicle, but it was not being used, or it was not being used properly," Smith said. "He was being placed into custody and he was saying, 'My baby! My baby!' and that's when they found the child."

Reynolds said police immediately called for an ambulance.

However, because of the infant's condition, officers opted to take it to Saint Francis Hospital in a squad car instead of waiting for an ambulance to arrive, she said.

Reynolds said the baby was resuscitated at the hospital and that tests were being performed on the child Tuesday evening.

Smith said doctors think the boy might have a minor head injury.

EMSA spokeswoman Kelli Bruer said EMSA got a call from a police dispatcher at 2:49 p.m. Tuesday and that based on the description of the situation, the call was given a "Priority 2" status — which is designated for situations that are not life-threatening.

EMSA has 24 minutes and 59 seconds to respond to such calls, as opposed to the 10 minutes and 59 seconds allotted for life-threatening "Priority 1" calls.

Bruer said an ambulance was on its way when police canceled the call at 3 p.m.

Reynolds said police found an unloaded handgun in the area of the chase and think Crowels threw it out the car window during the pursuit, according to an arrest report.

Crowels was booked into the Tulsa Jail on complaints that include abuse of a child, eluding in a way that endangered others, aggravated speeding and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Copyright 2013 Tulsa World

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

All Rights Reserved


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