Suspect takes cop car for joy ride

May 29, 2009 2:55:35 AM PDT
You could say it was a bit of an unusual chase on the southeast side Thursday night. Police found themselves trying to catch up with a man who had just stolen a police car and took if for a joyride. That car and the driver were located in the city of South Houston, but police say what he did on the way there put other people's lives in danger. It also was a close call for a wrecker driver and a gas station owner after that white stolen cruiser came straight at them.

Police say when an SUV driver did not have identification during a routine traffic stop, officers put him in the back of a police car. While officers talked to the SUV's passenger, the driver in the back of their car crawled through the cruiser cage and drove off in the white Charger.

Eyewitnesses say the suspect took a shortcut through a car wash lot and through the back garage door of a service station. He then ran over the foot of the wrecker driver.

Nagi Mekhail was standing outside of his gas station when he saw the cruiser coming his way.

"I don't know if it was the police or someone stole the car," he told us.

Mekhail ended up rolling over the hood of the car in attempts to get away.

Officers later found the car ditched in the parking lot of a tortilla factory. The suspect was arrested as he walked down the street.

"Our sergeant was out on the scene in the area, he used the GPS system to help locate where the police car was," said Lieutenant Kenneth Campbell with the Houston Police Department.

The driver faces several charges and police say he also had outstanding felony warrants. The wrecker driver was taken to the hospital but is expected to recover.

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