Victims worry teen who stole truck, hitting house and van, will get slap on wrist despite dangerous acts

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City teen is behind bars after he allegedly slammed into a house, then a disability services van before being caught. 

But the victims of those crimes now worry the suspect could be getting off with a slap on the wrist.

New video shows a wild Kansas City police chase in progress last Wednesday. A black Dodge pickup truck is seen careening off the road then smashing into a house.

“Loud crunch! We was eating dinner. Then we all ran outside to see what was going on,” said Elaine Stegall, a resident of the home hit by the stolen truck.

RELATED: Charges filed against man who crashed a stolen truck into van carrying people with disabilities

Her front porch was smashed to smithereens and a gaping hole was left in the front fence.  Pieces of the stolen truck littered the yard.

“I haven’t been able to sleep a lot. Every little noise just bothers. You hear a noise outside, you jump up and look,” Stegall said.

Stegall is angry. She said when the crash happened, nearly two dozen kids were outside playing.  Had the truck hit the house a few feet over, she and her husband could’ve been killed.

“He didn’t care,” Stegall said.

Carrie Walser is mad, too. The black truck the suspect was driving was stolen from her driveway in Gladstone last week.

After the driver smashed Stegall’s home, he backed up and kept going, hitting a van with a driver and two adults with developmental disabilities, who were all hurt.

The driver bailed, but police did catch 19-year-old Leonel Dewitt-Cruz.

“To me, you know, risking everybody and all these children and just destroying people’s property, because he’s a criminal, and we work for all our stuff.  Where’s the justice in that?” Walser said.

Walser said if the ordeal wasn’t bad enough, what’s happened since stings even more.

Dewitt-Cruz, who has a criminal record, is only charged with resisting arrest, tampering with a vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage.

“To me I don’t feel like that’s enough because they’re the lowest grade felonies you can get, which isn’t even prison time. He risked so many people’s lives,” Walser said.

Court records show Dewitt-Cruz was also found with a glass pipe with white residue.

He admitted to police he’d stolen the truck but refused to give up his accomplice, saying, “I can’t snitch.”

“People like that don’t deserve to be walking the streets,” Walser said.

The stolen truck is totaled, so Walser said she had to buy a new vehicle to keep her business going.

The renters of the home hit by the stolen truck said the landlord didn’t have property insurance, and it’ll cost thousands to make repairs.

Both victims are hoping as the investigation continues, the suspect will face additional charges.  He’s due back in court March 2, and is currently held in the Jackson County jail on $15,000 bond.



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