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Chase Ends in Crash, Drug Charges

Suspect caught in train yard; cash, guns recovered

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
January 29, 2021
Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Wilkinsburg man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail after leading police on a chase that ended up with a crash inside the RIDC Industrial Center of McKeesport and a search through a local railroad yard.

Zaire Hatchin, 21, is jailed in lieu of $20,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing Feb. 8 on more than a dozen charges, including possession of drugs with intent to deliver, reckless driving, firearms violations and leaving the scene of an accident.

McKeesport police said an officer on routine patrol early Wednesday morning observed a blue Toyota sedan traveling at a high rate of speed on Lysle Boulevard, and began following it as it turned onto Coursin Street.

When the officer next spotted the Toyota, it was driving in the wrong lane of Coursin, and the officer attempted to stop the car.

Instead, the Toyota turned onto Versailles Avenue and accelerated before turning left onto Cornell and Carnegie streets in the library district, then heading back down Coursin toward Downtown.

Police said the car crossed Lysle Boulevard at a high rate of speed and took the flyover ramp into the industrial park, traveling along Industry Road until colliding with the security gate at River Materials.

The driver jumped out of the car and fled on foot into the River Materials plant, police said, with officers in pursuit. As the driver ran, a 9-mm handgun fell out of his waistband, according to a report.

Police were searching the River Materials facility under the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge when CSX Railroad employees called to report that a man was hiding inside a train car at Demmler Yard.

Officers said they found the driver, identified by police as Hatchin, trying to conceal himself on the platform of a freight car.

Police said Hatchin was arrested without further incident.

McKeesport police said that the 9-mm handgun that the driver dropped as he ran had been reported stolen from Pittsburgh and included seven rounds of ammunition, including one in the chamber. Another loaded 9-mm handgun, reported stolen from Turtle Creek, was recovered from the trunk of the Toyota, according to a police report.

Also found in the car’s trunk were nearly 400 stamp bags of suspected heroin, police said, as well as $2,430 cash.

The car, which belonged to a rental agency, was towed from the scene. No injuries were reported by police and a call to River Materials was not immediately returned for comment.

Police said Hatchin is not allowed to possess firearms because of a previous felony conviction.

Hatchin is charged with unlawful possession of firearms, carrying firearms without a license, receiving stolen property, possession of controlled substances, possession with intent to deliver, driving with a suspended license, fleeing and eluding police, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, careless driving and flight to avoid apprehension.

Following a stay in the McKeesport police lockup, Hatchin was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi and transported to the county jail.

Originally published January 29, 2021.

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