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Innocent bystander loses car in Lower Paxton police chase - abc27 WHTM

Innocent bystander loses car in Lower Paxton police chase

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Kathy Kent has been without a car since April 19th after a police chase in Lower Paxton Township spilled into Harrisburg.

The Harrisburg mother of four was driving her two youngest sons to baseball practice around 5 p.m. when the man police were chasing crossed into her path at 25th and Market streets.

"Boom -- crashed right into him," Kent said. "The cops came swarming from all over and pulled out their guns. (They were) kicking the van. They maced the guy."

Kent and her boys were taken to the hospital via ambulance. Her car was towed from the scene, but when she went back later get it, no one could tell her where it was.

"I called out Lower Paxton, but nobody had a report," Kent sad. "They said Harrisburg's supposed to do the report. I called Harrisburg Police Department and Harrisburg Police Department says Lower Paxton's supposed to do the report. I'm like, 'ok, somebody's got to do something -- I'm without a car'."

With no crash report to go on, Lower Paxton Township police eventually realized they had towed the car. Kent was forced to pay $75 to get it back from the towing company. But now, she's fighting to get it fixed because her insurance policy doesn't include collision. That wouldn't normally be a problem, since the crash was not her fault -- except the suspect in this case was driving a vehicle that didn't belong to him.

This has left Kent hoping and praying that the car owner's insurance will kick in.

"This wasn't my fault," she said. "I'm not at fault in this accident, so I feel that's not fair to me."

Lt. Gary Seefeldt with Lower Paxton Township police told abc27 because his department did the towing, a crash report should have been filed by his officers. He told Kent she will have a report in hand by Wednesday, which will hopefully help with her insurance claim.

The suspect in this case, Elizangel Santana-Ortiz of Harrisburg, was wanted for a "significant" retail theft with a box cutter at the Kmart on Jonestown Road, according to Seefeldt. He acknowledged police were chasing him that day, but said it was not a high speed pursuit.

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