VINITA PARK, Mo. – A woman was taken to a psychiatric hospital after police said she stole a cruiser and crashed it into a tree.
Police were initially called to a Missouri neighborhood for a report of a woman walking barefoot and following some neighborhood children after they left a market approximately half a mile away, KSDK reported.
Scharell Houston told KSDK that she saw the woman following the children, and then the woman began to follow her.
“She tried to follow me into my house,” Houston told the station. “So once I realized that, I pushed off the front porch and said, ‘You got to go back to where you came from.’”
When officers with the North County Police Cooperative arrived, they determined the woman was acting erratically and called for medical services to assess the situation, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
In body camera video shared with KMOV, an officer can be heard telling the woman, “Listen, you’re not in trouble so just relax.” Just moments later, the woman runs away from the officers before jumping into the cruiser and driving away.
Houston shared cellphone video of the scene with KSDK. Officers were visible rushing to stop the woman from driving away, but were unsuccessful.
Police told the Post-Dispatch that the woman crashed the car into a tree before placing the car into reverse and jumping out. The car then crashed into a second tree.
The mayor of Vinita Park told KMOV that he wants to use the video to show legislators that their police department needs funding for a mental health crisis team.
“We want to take this video on the road, especially up there to Jeff City,” Mayor James McGee told KMOV. “They expect our police to wear too many hats.”
The woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment, and will be charged with stealing a motor vehicle and property damage, KSDK reported.