Hazelwood man accused of leading police on chase in burning car

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A Hazelwood man is accused of leading police on a dangerous wrong-way pursuit, even with his car fully engulfed in flames. Police say he finally stopped when he could no longer take the heat.

St. Louis County prosecutors charged 22-year-old Ryan McDaniel with felony resisting arrest. Authorities say more charges are likely but things could be much worse for him.

“Yeah, when officers removed him from the car, they did say he was actually hot to the touch. He was hanging in there,” said Sgt. Mitch Armer, Breckenridge Hills Police Department.

McDaniel was, surprisingly, not burned. A Breckenridge Hills police officer first tried to pull McDaniel over during Monday morning rush hour. Police say officers repeatedly pulled off the pursuit for safety reasons. It continued on-again-off-again for an hour and 13 minutes until police say neither McDaniel or his car—badly burned and with two flat tires—could continue.

“The car then caught fire. I’m being told it was fully engulfed. The suspect continued to drive,” Armer said. “He finally came to stop on Lindbergh where he was evacuated from the vehicle and taken into custody.”

Police say he clipped three other cars during the pursuit: one in Richmond Heights, one in University City, and one in Clayton. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

“Overall, it was, I guess, the best-case scenario you could hope for in a pursuit like that,” Armer said.

Police say McDaniel was carrying illegal drugs and counterfeit cash. A judge set his bond at $30,000, cash-only.

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