BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — An overnight chase that encompassed three towns ended with multiple police cars damaged and a suspect behind bars, police said.
The chase began in the Cheektowaga after 2:15 a.m. Sunday, when Erie County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to pull over a suspect from a stolen vehicle case reported in the Old First Ward neighborhood earlier in the day. That vehicle was recovered.
As police attempted to pull the suspect over, he fled, driving to Lewiston via the Grand Island Bridge, before ending up in Niagara Falls around 3 a.m. A passenger was reportedly in the vehicle as well, however that person has not been charged.
“A suspect was observed leaving the vicinity, that matched our description, and the deputy began to follow him,” recounted Erie County undersheriff William Cooley. “And then they ultimately tried to pull him over at which point he fled the officers.”
A News 4 photographer who was at the scene said the Niagara County and Erie County Sheriffs’ offices, Lewiston Police, Niagara Falls Police and State Troopers responded to the incident.
“We have chases from time to time that go from town to town,” Lewiston Police Captain Michael Salada said. “But to hear it come all the way from South Buffalo, into Lewiston, and wrap around like it did, that’s quite unusual.”
Captain Salada explained the lack of drivers on the road factored into law enforcement’s decision to continue the pursuit.
“These pursuits definitely are dangerous, not just to the people involved in the pursuit, but the surrounding public,” Captain Salada said. “2:30 in the morning, the roads were a lot more clear than they would have been in the middle of the afternoon, and certainly our officers take that into account when making the decision to continue a pursuit or discontinue it.”
At least three police cars were damaged during the chase and two officers reportedly sustained minor injuries.
Brandon Baumeister was arrested following the chase. Police said that Baumeister had 14 active warrants against him. He is being held and now faces even more charges.
“He’s facing aggravated unlicensed operations second (degree), reckless driving, numerous vehicle and traffic violations, unlawful fleeing of a police officer, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, numerous accounts of assault on a police officer,” said Undersheriff Cooley. “And of course the investigation is on going at this point too.”
Officials are pursuing a search warrant for Baumeister’s vehicle as the investigation continues.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.