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Upper Darby Officer Injured After 17-Year-Old Robbery Suspect Crashes Head-On Into Police Car, Investigators Say

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) - A robbery spree and a wild chase in Delaware County ended with an officer injured in a crash. One of the suspects involved is behind bars Monday afternoon.

Police say it all started Saturday morning when a vehicle was stolen on Jackson Avenue. Minutes later, a pedestrian was robbed six blocks away.

A police pursuit started but that chase ended with a crash when a robbery suspect slammed head-on into a police cruiser, according to investigators.

Three robberies occurred early Saturday morning, including a car theft. Police from a number of departments joined the pursuit.

Police say the pursuit ended at Lexington and Pembroke Avenues in East Lansdowne.

Police say 17-year-old Zymir Cole was behind the wheel of a stolen car, trying to outrun officers from responding departments when investigators say Cole crashed head-on into an Upper Darby police cruiser operated by officer William Redheffer.

Upper Darby Patrol unit - operated by  Officer William Redheffer - hospitalized, treated and release
Upper Darby Patrol unit - operated by Officer William Redheffer - hospitalized, treated and release

Redheffer, a five-year member of the Upper Darby force, lost consciousness for a time but was treated and released from the hospital. Police say Redheffer was parked at the intersection, waiting for word on where the pursuit was headed when it came right at him.

"Probably at least 50-60 miles an hour, head-on," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said of the crash.

"He took off and ran -- both of them ran," Chitwood said of the suspects. "He took off ran and subsequently the driver of the automobile -- he's the one who stole the automobile. In both cases he was identified as the robber and the car theft."

The officer is doing OK. Chitwood said he won't be back to work for a few days.

Cole is being charged as an adult, police say, because he used a firearm in the commission of the robberies. Cole is being held on $500,000 bail.

Police are still searching for as many as two others involved in those robberies.

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