Forrest City, AR - Shoplifter - 62 Year Old Jumps Into Patrol Car - 90 MPH Chase - Crashes And Totals Patrol Car Into Stump - Hits Building - Injured

October 14, 2015

arkansasmatters.com

A 62-year-old man stole a patrol vehicle from the Forrest City Police Department on Monday and then wrecked it, authorities say.

Officers were called to Food Giant on North Washington Street on Monday at 12:15 p.m. in reference to a shoplifter.

Police spoke with a man identified as Billy Thomas and then the manager of the store. While police spoke with the manager, Thomas started to complain about medical issues and asked if he could sit down, according to an arrest report.

Despite being told "no," Thomas walked over to a patrol car, opened the front door and sat down inside, police said. Officers tried to pull him out, but he put the vehicle in drive and recklessly sped off, the report states.

Thomas traveled through multiple traffic signals, approached 90 mph and eventually lost control of the vehicle near North Division Street, authorities said.

The report states that the patrol car wrecked and came to rest against the wall of the Forrest City Masonic Lodge.

When officers caught up, Thomas requested medical attention and was taken to a local medical center.

The stolen patrol vehicle was a gray 2009 Dodge Charger, according to the report.

Thomas faces charges of aggravated assault, fleeing, reckless driving, resisting arrest, shoplifting and more, police said.