Police nab four in stolen car

Casey Grove

Anchorage police arrested two men and two woman early Thursday who ran from a stolen car that rammed a police cruiser during a short chase.

It started Wednesday night when a red 2004 Chevrolet Impala was reported stolen from outside an East Anchorage business, police said in a written statement. The Impala's owner left it idling to warm it up, police said.

Unaware the car had been stolen, an officer on patrol tried to stop the Impala for a traffic violation about 10 p.m. near 36th Avenue and Lake Otis Parkway, police said. But the car sped away when the officer turned on his flashing lights, and he gave up after a short pursuit for safety reasons, police said. The officer later learned that the Impala had been stolen, police said.

It was Thursday, just after 12 a.m., that another officer spotted the Impala at Denali Street and Benson Boulevard, and officers with lights and sirens tried to block the car's path, police said.

"Instead of stopping, the (Impala) swerved toward the officer's vehicle and accelerated, ramming the occupied patrol vehicle before continuing northbound on Denali Street," the written statement from police says.

The Impala slid into a snowbank to the south of Northern Lights Boulevard and stopped, police said. Four of the five people inside jumped out and ran, but officers caught them nearby.

Police charged Darien Jeter, 20, with vehicle theft, criminal mischief and resisting arrest. Darin Smith, 19, faces a charge of vehicle theft, two counts failing to stop at the direction of a police officer, assault and two counts of criminal mischief. Cynthia Curtis, 18, and Anecia Romie, 19, were charged with resisting arrest, police said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.