PARMA, Ohio — Able Animal Hospital in Parma will be temporarily closed until further notice after the owners say a group of teenagers crashed into the front of the building Tuesday night, according to Parma police.
At approximately 9:22 p.m., a Parma officer attempted to stop a stolen truck driven by a 16-year-old boy from Cleveland at West 60th Street near Snow Road, states a news release from Parma police.
The teen driver refused to stop and led police on a chase. At one point during the pursuit, the driver slowed down to allow a female passenger out of the car.
The pursuit eventually stopped in the 5400 block of State Road when the driver struck spike strips and lost control, veering off the right side of the road, the release states.
According to police, the driver struck two unoccupied cars and then crashed into Able Animal Hospital.
The front part of the animal hospital was badly damaged, with bricks and other debris left scattered on the sidewalk.
"They hit us, they hit the fence, they hit the other fence, they totaled a kid’s car and hit the other building," said Debra Bartowick, officer manager at Able Animal Hospital.
Bartowick has worked there for more than two decades at the animal hospital that works with a lot of low-income residents and rescue groups.
Police said the vehicle was reported stolen from Parma Heights on Aug. 9.
The animal hospital will be temporarily closed until further notice.
When Bartowick pulled up to the hospital, she got right to work.
“It’s a devastating blow," Bartowick said. "I had to send animals home last night that were to have surgeries today and I have to cancel out for the next week.”
So far, dozens of appointments have been canceled at a time when veterinary services are in short supply because so many people brought home pandemic pets.
“It’s going to take time to put things back together," she said.
Until then, the staff here is working the phones, hoping other vets can squeeze in their sickest clients.
“You can’t let a diabetic animal be sick for days, they get really bad real fast," Bartowick said.
In the midst of the mad dash to find alternative care for their clients, Bartowick is taking the time to give thanks that this crash happened after hours.
“We have chairs, there would have been people sitting there, there would have been pets, it would have been really bad, people would have been killed," she said.
The 16-year-old driver was taken to University Hospitals Parma Medical Center for his injuries.
A 15-year-old boy from Parma and a 15-year-old girl from Parma, who exited the vehicle prior to the crash, were both arrested, police said.
They were later released into the custody of a parent because the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center refused to accept them, police said.
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