Leesburg, GA - Handcuffed Man Steals Police Cruiser - Tries To Run Down Two Lee County Police Officers - Fled On Foot - Massive Search - Captured Days Later

September 9, 2015


A man who escaped by taking a City of Leesburg police cruiser and nearly running down two police officers was captured in Montezuma Wednesday.

According to Leesburg police, Timothy Syntrell Rowland was arrested Sunday evening and charged with driving on a suspended license, after which he was handcuffed and placed in the back seat of a police cruiser. In the absence of an officer in the vehicle, Rowland was later able to shift his handcuffs to the front of his body, maneuver between a partition separating the front and back seats and then to operate the cruiser for a distance of around 500 yards, police officials say.

The police report states that in the process of escaping, Rowland aimed the car at two Lee County police officers and nearly ran them down,

When officers found the cruiser, Roland had fled on foot, officials say, prompting a manhunt which continued until Wednesday morning when Roland was apprehended in Montezuma by deputies of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.

“I got a tip this (Wednesday) morning that he was hiding out in an abandoned building next to his grandmother’s house,” said Charles Moore, chief of Leesburg Police. “I called the Sheriff’s Office in Macon County and asked them to pick him up.”

Moore said felony warrants issued against Rowland include theft by taking of government property, driving on suspended license, two counts of aggravated assault against police and escape.

Rowland is also charged with three counts of cruelty to a child because the suspect’s girlfriend and 10-year-old son were present when he drove the cruiser toward the officers, Moore said.

Moore said he intends to correct the situation which allowed Roland to slip from the back seat of the cruiser to the front.

“It’s an unusual situation, but it’s happened to other law enforcement agencies,” Moore said. “I’ll probably install some wire mesh to take care of that.”