Region 8 man steals and wrecks police cruiser

CARUTHERVILLE, MO (KAIT) – According to Police Chief Chris Riggs, the man accused of stealing and totaling a Caruthersville patrol unit is still in the hospital and in serious condition.

The man had allegedly stolen the police car in Caruthersville while an officer was in the middle of investigating a domestic assault.

The car was driven until it was wrecked on Rt-U and Interstate 155 in Pemiscot County.

The man' name is still not being released pending the filing of formal charges, but police say the man does have a history of mental problems.

THIS IS A NEWS UPDATE. The original story can be found below.

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KAIT) –A Caruthersville man is in serious trouble after stealing a police cruiser and totaling it.

According to police reports, a 51-year-old black male of Caruthersville will be facing several felony charges after stealing a fully marked patrol unit and crashing the vehicle into the west side of the Stubtown overpass at Rt-U and Interstate 155.

Around 5:00 Tuesday night, an officer was dispatched to Apartment 40 of the East Haven Federal Housing Complex to address a domestic assault in progress.  Upon arrival, the officer began speaking with a man standing outside the apartments to find out if he was involved in the incident.

The officer then spoke with four females. While taking a report from the four females, one told the officer someone was getting into his patrol car. The officer turned to see the man he had initially spoken with driving off in the cruiser.

Within a few minutes of looking for the car, a Pemiscot County Deputy found that the man had lost control of the car and crashed it. Several witnesses say the car was speeding and almost hit them; the car's GPS unit showed the car was traveling at 96 miles per hour.

Reports say the man will be facing several felony charges including but not limited to Tampering with a motor vehicle, felony property damage, and felony stealing. His name is being withheld pending the filing of formal charges. Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and theft.

Agencies involved in the arrest include Caruthersville Police Department, Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and Caruthersville Fire Department.

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