Springfield church cleans up mess after driver crashes car into it during chase

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A suspected thief crashed his car into a church after being pulled over by Springfield police Sunday evening.

Police say a man escaping from police custody crashed his car through the front doors of New Growth Ministries at 1351 N Marion. Most of the mess is cleaned up now. The door is boarded up.

Police tried to pull over a driver after they believe he broke into cars in a shopping center near Kansas and Kearney and stole a purse. He was driving west on Lynn Street, when he tried to make a left turn onto Marion and did not quite make the turn. He ended up in the front doors of New Growth Ministries Church. It happened just before Sunday evening services.

"I thought maybe they had just pulled somebody over when I started down the street, and then I saw the car up underneath there," said Pastor Larry Maddox, New Growth Ministries. "I went, oh no. But I'm glad that he's alright and that we weren't gathering here at the time for service, and that nobody was injured, nobody was hurt."

Pastor Larry Maddox says they went ahead with Services Sunday night. The church used fans to blow the carbon monoxide from that car out of the building.

Police say charges are pending against the driver.