State Trooper's Car Stolen, Wrecked Shortly Afterwards

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (KAIT) - A wild ride in Crittenden county ends with a man stealing a state trooper car and crashing it 10 minutes later, according to state police.

After speaking with police spokesman Bill Sadler, Region 8 News was able to learn that it all started when Trooper Gary Ladner was dispatched to the scene of a disabled vehicle on the median.  Upon arrival to the scene near the 15 mile marker of I-55, Trooper Ladner found a white Toyota with a flat tire.  26-year-old Marcus F. Course was in the driver's seat.  Trooper Ladner asked Course to exit the vehicle, which he did.

After checking Course's license, Trooper Ladner discovered that Course was driving on a suspended license.  It was at this point that Trooper Ladner received consent to search Course's Toyota.  However, Course had different plans.

Once Ladner's search of the vehicle began, the 26-year old suspect jumped into the patrol car and fled the scene, according to authorities.  This left Trooper Ladner with a disabled Toyota and his police radio.  Using his radio, we're told he contacted other area authorities letting them know of the theft.

Within a few minutes, State Trooper Andre Mack intercepted Course at the 278 mile marker.  Spokesman Bill Sadler tells Region 8 News that "the traffic stop was initiated" but at that point, Course sped up.  He didn't get far, as he slammed into into a construction trailer being pulled by a pick-up.  After getting a bump on the head (but no serious injures), Course was arrested and transported to the Crittenden County jail.  West Memphis Police also assisted in the stop and arrest.

We're told that 26-year-old Course is facing charges including theft of property, felony fleeing and wreckless driving.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler says Trooper Ladner is not facing any disciplinary action and handled everything "by the book."