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After child thrown from vehicle, police say they evaluate pursuits for safety

Posted at 4:14 PM, Oct 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-09 18:42:59-04

TULSA, Okla. -- A six-year-old boy is recovering after being thrown from a car on Sunday. It happened while police were chasing a stolen car.

Officers said accidents like this lead them to evaluate how cases are handled.

Tulsa Police said although the pursuit lasted less than a minute, they made sure to only follow the suspect car once they realized it was a threat to the public.

The department runs many questions past a supervisor before making this decision.

"What are we pursuing this vehicle for? What are the speeds? What are the conditions of the road? What's traffic like?" Officer Jeanne MacKenzie said.

In this case, officers said the woman whose car was stolen pointed them toward a suspect they believed to be dangerous.

"This person that was in that vehicle had pointed a gun at somebody, was driving a stolen vehicle, they were considered to be a continuing threat to citizens of Tulsa," MacKenzie said.

One woman who lives in the area said she's concerned about safety during situations like this.

"There's a lot of construction going on all the time in Tulsa and I think it does make things like car chases or normal police activity is probably made more challenging," Michelle Reno Bueno said.

That proved to be the case Sunday when the driver of the stolen vehicle led officers through traffic.

"Went through a construction area, went through an empty church parking lot. Ended up going down a dead end street where is struck an unoccupied vehicle," MacKenzie said.

The six-year-old was not seriously hurt. Police said pursuit protocol is in place to prevent this from happening.

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