POLICE: Suspect flipped van on Dixie Highway with 3-year-old in vehicle

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police say they've arrested a man after he drove away from a traffic stop and fled police, eventually flipping his van and sending a 3-year-old passenger to the hospital.

According to an arrest report, the incident took place on Sunday, just before 4 a.m. on Halma Drive, just west of the intersection of Alanadale Drive and Dixie Highway. 

Police say they were sent to Omar Khayyam Boulevard after someone reported that a break-in was taking place.

When officers arrived, they allegedly saw a "maroon / burgundy" Chevy van, which matched the description of the vehicle involved in the break-in. As the van pulled out onto Halma Drive, police say they initiated a traffic stop.

According to the arrest report, the van was being driven by the suspect, 54-year-old Eric W. Bruce. There were two passengers in the van, including a 3-year-old. 

Police say Bruce did not have a valid driver's license or vehicle insurance, and he was not wearing a seat belt. He was told to stay in the vehicle, turn the car off and put the keys to the vehicle on the roof.

But instead, police say one of the passengers got out of the van, before Bruce started the engine. An officer ran to the van and banged on the window, warning Bruce to stop, but instead he drove away with the 3-year-old inside, according to the arrest report.

Police followed the van briefly, but lost sight of it.

Officers eventually caught up with the van after it flipped on Dixie Highway, near Alanadale Drive. A witness allegedly told police that the van failed to stop at a stop sign at the corner of Alanadale Drive and Dixie Highway and sped into Dixie Highway traffic before it flipped.

The 3-year-old passenger had to be taken to Norton Children's Hospital after sustaining a head injury.

Police say when they searched the van Bruce was driving, they found a handgun, as well as suspected methamphetamine and marijuana.

They also found a "destructive...booby trap device" of some kind in his van, according to police.

Bruce faces several charges including fleeing or evading police, criminal mischief, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, first-degree wanton endangerment, possession of marijuana, reckless driving, failure to wear seat belts, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked operator's license, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of a destructive device or booby trap device.

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