Woman gets prison for leading officers on chase, hitting cruisers because she was late to work

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CLEVELAND - An Ohio woman who led police on a chase and hit cruisers on a highway was sentenced on Wednesday.

Imani C. Edwards, 23, was charged with failure to comply and multiple counts of felonious assault. Newburgh Heights police said Edwards claimed she was late for work.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Shaughnessy sentenced Edwards to four years and nine months in prison. Her license will be suspended for 15 years, and she was ordered to pay more than $26,000 in restitution to Newburgh Heights and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

A state trooper tried to pull over Edwards during rush hour on March 22 for window tint and fictitious registration, but she refused to stop, according to the patrol. Newburgh Heights police officers attempted to help by boxing in the vehicle. Police said Edwards rammed into two cruisers and a patrol SUV.

The chase ended near East 105th Street and St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland when she was forced off the road and hit a utility pole.

“I don’t know what you were thinking,” Shaughnessy said. “At a time when law enforcement is under such scrutiny, your lawyer is right, they showed incredible restraint. And they should be commended. You jeopardized not only their safety – you almost ran over the officer – but the safety of the community and your own safety.”

The incident was captured on dash camera video, which was played in court on Wednesday.

“That’s one of the most egregious videos I’ve ever seen," Shaughnessy said.

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