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December 04, 2015

Penn police: Armed felon arrested following car chase near campus

Officials say suspect caught after he fled scene of traffic violation

Arrests UPenn
07032015_university_of_penn_Thom Thom Carroll, File/PhillyVoice

Students walk on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

Police officers with the University of Pennsylvania announced the arrest of a convicted felon they say fled from a traffic violation near campus Thursday night and was later found to be carrying a gun inside his vehicle.

Authorities say two Penn police officers spotted a traffic violation at 10:47 p.m. on 33rd and Market streets, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. When the officers approached the vehicle, they detected "a strong odor of marijuana," said Maureen Rush, vice president of public safety at the university. Officers asked the male driver and female passenger to exit the vehicle, but the driver sped off, Rush told The Daily Pennsylvanian.

In a sequence recorded on PennComm's CCTV system, officers pursued the vehicle until the driver stopped in the middle of the 3400 block of Sansom St. A male suspect then exited the vehicle and began to walk westbound toward 36th Street, throwing an object to the ground next to a car, according to one of the officers.

The male suspect was arrested, and investigating officers said they recovered a .9 mm firearm in a holster. After a background check, it was determined that the 32-year-old suspect, whose name was not released, is a convicted felon in multiple states and is legally barred from owning, purchasing or carrying a firearm.

The weapons offense will be handled by the Pennsylvania state task force on guns.

Police confirmed that the suspect, who is expected to be charged with driving under the influence and violation of the Firearms Act, was not affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. There was no word on the status of the female passenger.