Philly Cops Review Pursuit Policy After Dirt Bike Accident

Rider of bike allegedly hit girl and her aunt while fleeing police
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2017 2:54 PM CDT
Cops' Dirt Bike Pursuit Leaves Girl, 6, Aunt Seriously Injured
Caliph Douglass.   (Upper Darby Police)

A man fleeing Philadelphia police on a dirt bike struck a 6-year-old girl and her aunt, resulting in serious injuries to both as well as himself, police say. The girl was in serious condition and her 44-year-old aunt was in guarded condition, while the bike rider, 32-year-old Caliph Douglass, suffered a collapsed lung and a spinal injury. He was arraigned from his hospital bed Sunday on charges including vehicular aggravated assault, auto theft, and reckless endangerment, reports NBC Philadelphia. Douglass has a lengthy criminal record, including attempted murder charges, and his bail has been set at $1 million. The incident happened about 1:30pm in Upper Darby on the township's busy 69th street, where many families were attending a children's show at the Tower Theater. reports that Philadelphia police were looking for dirt bikes and ATVs, illegal on city streets, when they tried to pull Douglass over. They say he sped away, eventually hitting the girl at full speed, then the aunt, sending them both into the air. Police say Douglass then fled and carjacked a 2002 Nissan, which was soon found near a wooded area, where Douglass was injured and a homeless man was helping him walk. When he was first brought to the hospital, he reportedly asked a nurse if the little girl he hit had died. Police were reviewing their pursuit policy in the wake of the incident, given that Douglass wasn't being sought for a serious crime and that the pursuit went beyond the city limits of Philadelphia. (This pedestrian hit by a car was ticketed after the accident.)

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