Sequoyah County, OK - Man Steals Spiro Police Department Patrol Car From PD - 1 Hour Chase With Lights And Sirens - Wrong Way On Highway Into Arkansas

September 24, 2015

A man is in custody and facing several charges after he stole a Spiro Police Department patrol car and took a dangerous joy ride on Interstates 40 and 540 Thursday morning (Sept. 24), according to the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office.

"Obviously, the man is not in his right mind," Sheriff Ron Lockhart said. "He claims he went to the Spiro Police Department looking for some help and said no one was there."

Police identified the suspect as Barry Persall of Spiro.

Lockhart said Persall was wandering around outside the department around 1 a.m. when he spotted one of the department's police cars with the keys in it. The suspect got inside the vehicle, turned on the emergency lights and headed toward I-40, Lockhart said.

Around 2:30 a.m., an Arkansas State Police trooper driving on I-40 near the Arkansas-Oklahoma state line spotted the patrol car with its lights on heading west in the east bound lanes near the Arkansas Welcome Center. That trooper then called for backup, Lockhart said. Several units chased the driver on I-40 and I-540 in Arkansas and Oklahoma over the next hour. The suspect gave in to the chase and safely pulled his vehicle off I-40 just west of the Muldrow exit around 3:45 a.m.

Lockhart said Persall is currently in custody at the LeFlore County jail, since that is where the incident began. He is facing charges of automobile theft, larceny and possession of stolen property, authorities said.

The patrol car door was left unlocked with keys in the ignition after officers did maintenance on the vehicle the night before, according to the Spiro police chief.