Parkersburg, WV - Parole Violation Suspect In Handcuffs - Steals Patrol Car - Chase And Crash Into Ditch - School Lockdowns

October 4, 2016

Parkersburg Police went to a home on Crescent Street to arrest Casey Saunders, who was wanted for a parole violation. That's when things took an unexpected turn for the officer there.

Parkersburg Police Chief, Joe Martin, tells us the officer arrested Saunders and put him in the back of the cruiser.

Then, the officer went back into the home to arrest someone else.

In the meantime, Saunders unbuckled his seat belt and somehow got his seat moved up far enough to crawl through the cage separating the back seat from the front seat.

Then, he drove off.

He made it to the intersection of 12th Avenue and Rayon Drive when he crashed the car into a ditch.

Edison and Martin Elementary Schools were placed on a brief lock-down during the incident as a precautionary measure.

Saunders has been arrested, again, and taken into custody.

He is charged with a parole violation, and now, grand larceny.

Two Wood County schools were briefly locked down this afternoon as Parkersburg police pursued a fugitive in south Parkersburg.

Students at Edison Middle School and Martin Elementary were released on time this afternoon "with a police presence strictly as a precautionary measure," according to Mike Fling, assistant superintendent of Wood County schools.

During the pursuit, Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin says the suspect, Casey Saunders of Parkersburg, managed to get into a marked cruiser and drive for about two blocks before crashing into a ditch near 12th Avenue and Rayon Drive.

Martin says Saunders was being sought on a parole violation by the U.S. Marshal's office.

Martin says there were no serious injuries.