Birmingham, AL - Drug Suspect In Handcuffs Steals Birmingham PD SUV - High Speed Chase Through 3 Counties - Crash - Wrong Way Highway - Spike Strips Georgia Line

November 3, 2015

al.com

A handcuffed drug suspect somehow crawled through the shield separating the back seat from the front seat of an unmarked police vehicle, stole the SUV and led lawmen on a chase through three counties today.

Multiple agencies searched for the man as he drove at a high rate of speed along Interstate 20 eastbound. He crashed once, and then fled again before abandoning the vehicle in Cleburne County near the Georgia state line.

Johnny Wayne Cable, 31, was taken into custody in a storage building outside a home off of I-20, said Heflin police Chief A.J. Benefield. He had somehow stepped through the handcuffs so they were in front of him. The Georgia man told authorities he had stolen an undercover narcotics vehicle, the chief said.

He is in the Cleburne County Jail awaiting extradition to Birmingham.

It all began just after 1 p.m. on I-20 before I-459 when Birmingham police stopped a vehicle on the side of the road in a drug investigation. Birmingham police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards said narcotics officers found drugs in the vehicle and were question the suspects. Two men and a women were being questioned when one of them was handcuffed and put in the back seat of a police Tahoe.

Somehow, while the others were being questioned, the suspect crawled to the front seat and took off. Multiple agencies were involved in the chase including Birmingham, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Hoover police (which are part of a highway task force), St. Clair County and Alabama State Troopers.

The suspect crashed once, but fled again. At one point, he turned around and was driving westbound before he again headed eastbound. Lawmen deployed spike strips across a portion of the interstate and shut down at least two lanes before Birmingham police called of their portion off the chase at 1:39 p.m. with the suspect still on the loose.

The stolen vehicle was found in Cleburne County near the Georgia line. The suspect was captured by Heflin and Cleburne County lawmen about 3 p.m.
A man and a woman were taken into custody at the site of the start of the chase. Officers were searching the grassy area at that site for other evidence.