Man carjacked by thief who pulled him over in police cruiser
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- An already challenging week with icy roads and downed trees and power lines saved its most bizarre twist for last for Butch Jenkins.
“One minute I’ve got a car, next minute I don’t,” Jenkins told WSAZ.
According to a report from Hanging Rock police, a Hanging Rock officer observed a black Nissan Rogue parked on the shoulder of U.S. 52 just before 7:30 a.m. Friday.
After running a check on his computer, the officer learned the vehicle had been reported stolen in Ashland.
The report says the suspect, 23-year-old Bryce Hogan, then led police on chase along U.S. 52 and several other roads, reaching an estimated 100 mph.
The report says the suspect bailed from the stolen vehicle on Campbell Drive and ran into a wooded area. The driver ran back to the road, and Highway Patrol ordered him to the ground and placed him in handcuffs.
The Hanging Rock officer says he placed the suspect into the caged area in the back of his cruiser.
The report says deputies went through the stolen Rogue and the suspect’s wallet and found meth and a syringe containing a red substance, and the Hanging Rock officer got an inventory sheet.
The report says a few moments later, the Hanging Rock officer heard a deputy yell at him, and the officer turned and saw their cruiser was pulling out and heading north on state Route 141.
Ohio State Highway Patrol tells WSAZ Hogan had been placed in cuffs with his hands behind his back, but somehow he maneuvered and got his feet under the cuffs and his cuffed hands in front of his body, then crawled through a gap in the caged section of the vehicle and into the front seat of the police car. He then drove off.
Police started chasing Hogan again but lost sight of him.
“We don’t see this often,” Lt. Nick Lunsford with Ohio State Highway Patrol told WSAZ. “I don’t really know of any other way we could’ve prevented what happened today. He was secured with handcuffs in the back seat of the car behind the cage, and he was able to crawl through the partition.”
“I’ve seen better days, that’s for sure,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins, a retired mechanic who turns 80 years old Monday, says Friday morning he went to check and see if his church had electricity.
As Jenkins was returning home, the suspect driving the stolen police car pulled Jenkins over on Sugar Creek-Johnstown Road.
“I saw flashing lights so I pulled over,” Jenkins said, “and this guy started screaming ‘Get out of the car! Get out of the car!’ It looked like he had a gun, so I got out of the car, and he got in my car and left, and I was left with the police cruiser.”
After the suspect left in Jenkins’ car, Jenkins says he got into the police cruiser and pulled into a driveway to get it out of the way. It wasn’t long after until the real police in pursuit showed up.
Jenkins was left even more dumbfounded when he learned the man who stole his car had been in police custody for stealing another car just moments earlier.
“It doesn’t make sense that he got loose,” Jenkins said. “I mean, man, someone’s not doing their job, considering this man is as dangerous as they say he is. He shouldn’t have gotten loose.”
Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson says his office is looking at several charges, including felony theft, escape, fleeing and eluding, and impersonating a police officer.
A BOLO has been issued for Hogan as well as Jenkins’ car, a maroon 2012 Chrysler 200 with Ohio tags GLE 1561.
Anderson says should the public come into contact with Hogan, they should immediately contact law enforcement.
When asked if he had any words for the thief who took his car, Jenkins said, “Don’t tear it up.”
This is a developing story. Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.
Copyright 2021 WSAZ. All rights reserved.