Rockford Handcuffed Man Police Car
January 11, 2012 by staff
Rockford Handcuffed Man Police Car, A handcuffed drug suspect swiped a police car loaded with weapons and went for a joyride in Indiana Tuesday before crashing into a ditch and fleeing off on foot, police said.
William Francis Blankenship, 22, of Kouts, Ind., was still on the loose Wednesday, Indiana’s Post-Tribune newspaper reported. Porter County police said Blankenship snatched the squad car after he was busted on drug charges during a traffic stop near a Family Express gas station about 5:30 p.m.
Police didn’t go into details about the drug bust, and they weren’t sure how Blankenship managed to jump into the front seat of the police car while handcuffed. Kouts is a tiny town about 50 miles from Chicago.
During the getaway, the brazen thief radioed to police to ask how he could get out of his handcuffs and where the car’s cigarette lighter was, police said.
Porter County Sheriff’s Sgt. Larry LaFlower told the Post-Tribune that officers who took the call didn’t tell Blankenship how to bust out of the bracelets.
Investigators found the cruiser wrecked and submerged in water in a drainage ditch in neighboring LaPorte County on Wednesday morning.
None of the guns in the squad car was missing, cops said.
State police and helicopter search teams joined the manhunt after the patrol car was found.
Cops say Blankenship is about 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and a brown goatee. He was last spotted wearing a jeans and a gray sweatshirt.
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