Springfield, MA - Domestic Call - Suspect Steals Police Cruiser - Suspect Taunts Police Over Radio For 20 Minutes - Finally Boxed In - Officers Had To Smash Window

February 5, 2015


A 27-year-old old man, who allegedly stole a cruiser after police responded to a domestic disturbance in the Pine Point neighborhood early Thursday, taunted officers over the police radio as he drove on city streets.

Sgt. John Delaney said the suspect "was playing policeman" and his over-the-air taunts included: "You guys are boring, I am going to go find crime."

The escapade ended about 20 minutes later, after police were able to box in the stolen cruiser at Berkshire Avenue and Page Boulevard, Delaney, public information officer for the department, said.

Two officers were injured at that location when the suspect violently resisted arrest, Delaney said.

The incident began about 4 a.m. when officer Shelley Whitely and Christopher Roberts were sent to 199 Laurelton St. for a disturbance. The female victim wanted her boyfriend, Michael Kopeski, removed from her home, and at first he was cooperative with the officers, Delaney said,

The trouble began, however, when Kopeski told the officers that he wanted to reenter the home "to get his stuff," Delaney said.

"Mr. Kopeski became outraged and started to yell at the officers calling them all 'pigs,'" Delaney said. "Kopeski went over to the police cruiser that was in the driveway running with the overhead on and spit at the police car."

Kopeski then went over to the cruiser that was running in the driveway and yanked on the driver's side door handle. Although police had engaged the automatic lock, it malfunctioned and Kopeski then jumped behind the wheel and began to drive away, Delaney said.

Whitley was able to open the passenger door and sprayed pepper spray inside the cruiser, but it had no effect on the "possessed driver," Delaney said.

Roberts attempted to gain entry through the driver's side but Kospeski locked the door, Delaney said.

For the next 20 minutes, Kopeski taunted police and disrupted radio transmissions as he drove on city streets.

Police boxed him in after K-9 Officer Scott Stelzer spotted the stolen cruiser on Berkshire Avenue.

Kopeski refused to open the cruiser doors, however, and Sgt. Scott Richard was forced to break the passenger window to get inside. Even then, Kopeski refused to cooperate and threw punches at the officers, Delaney said.

Finally, police managed to subdue the suspect.

"Mr. Kopeski then got another ride in a police car, this time in the rear seat, cuffed." Delaney said.

Kopeski, of 2033 Page Blvd., was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, four counts of assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest, Delaney said.

Delaney said such incidents are rare but not unheard of. "It has happened before," he said.