Robbery suspect hits car during chase

An armed robbery suspect is in critical condition after leading police on a chase that started near Park Road Shopping Center and ended with a car crash on East Boulevard.

Damien Dawson Phillips, 27, was being treated at Carolinas Medical Center late Saturday. His blue Mustang crashed into a van just after 9:30 a.m., but the occupants of that vehicle had only minor injuries.

Police say Phillips took a woman's purse at gunpoint at Park Road Shopping Center in south Charlotte on Saturday morning. The woman was injured slightly as she tried to fight the suspect off, but managed to flag down a police officer who was driving by.

The officer gave chase on foot, ultimately losing the suspect but recovering a gun the fleeing man threw away.

The suspect got into a blue Mustang and started speeding north on Park Road where another officer saw him, turned his patrol car around and began pursuing the vehicle with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

The officer in the patrol car, several hundred feet behind the blue Mustang, lost sight of the car until he came to the crash site at Scott Avenue and East Boulevard, just outside the Starbucks Coffee shop.

The street was shut down for several hours as officers investigated and later cleared the wreckage.