PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Just moments after the Broad Street run kicked off Sunday morning, Philadelphia police sprung into action just a mile from the starting line, stopping the driver of a stolen trash truck as he tried to enter the race route.
"The operator drives through the police tape. He's on Broad Street this is while the race is going on," Captain Sekou Kinebrew told FOX 29.
"When the police say stop--he stop--but then he started moving back," Francisco Martinez told FOX 29
Martinez says he was right at St. Luke's and Broad Street when the driver of the stolen 70,000 pound truck was confronted by police as runners passed by.
"All of a sudden he hit a vehicle three times, taking the rear bumper off," he said.
"Could you imagine how many people could have got hurt behind this?" Neighbor Tiana Hall told FOX 29 Monday night.
Police say the driver and trash truck tried to drive off with police in pursuit on foot and bike.
"He actually puts the vehicle in reverse, nearly striking a police vehicle and actually strikes a parks and recreation vehicle," Captain Kinebrew explained.
Police gave chase and finally managed to stop the driver at Broad and Belfield.
"He was ultimately arrested for suspicion of DUI, theft of the vehicle and recklessly endangering another person," the captain said.
According to police, 41-year-old Erond Simmons was arrested and faces multiple charges after he allegedly stole the truck from the trash company's yard in Southwest Philly. Police say this could have ended much differently.
"Thankfully, the planning and the preparation that was involved in this helped stop something that was bad enough from getting even worse,"Captain Kinebrew added.
"Thanks to the Philadelphia police, yes." neighbor Leo North said.
Police say Simmons is awaiting arraignment on the charges. No officers were hurt, but Simmons was hospitalized overnight.