Man steals and wrecks police car in Caruthersville

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. -- A Caruthersville man got more than he bargained for when he stole a police car. He also got a helicopter ride to the hospital after crashing the vehicle.

The Sikeston Standard Democrat reported the Caruthersville Police Department was called to domestic assault Tuesday afternoon at the East Haven Federal Housing Complex.

According to the police report, there was a man standing near one of the apartments. The officer was speaking to the man to see if he was involved, when four women upset about the assault approached the officer.

While talking with the assault victim, one of the women told the officer that the man he initially spoke to was getting into his patrol car. The man then drove away.

Police immediately began to look for the stolen car and within a matter of minutes, were notified by a Pemiscot County deputy that the suspect had lost control and crashed the vehicle on the west side of the Stubtown overpass at Route U and Interstate 55. The driver was ejected from the car.

The 51-year-old man was taken by air air to the Elvis Presley Trauma Center in Memphis.

The police car was destroyed in the crash. Several witnesses stated the suspect was traveling a a high rate of speed and almost ran into their vehicles.

According to a news release issued by City Marshal Chris Riggs, the GPS unit was later checked and showed the driver was traveling at 96 mph while traveling west on the overpass. The vehicle destroyed 50 feet of guard rail, eight posts and two signs before overturning.

The accident and theft investigation is being conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The driver will face felony charges which include tampering with a motor vehicle, property damage and stealing. The name of the suspect is being withheld pending the filing of formal charges.

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