North Texas Police Find & Arrest Accused Squad Car Thief
WHITE SETTLEMENT (CBSDFW.COM) – For nearly a week one North Texas police department had been searching for the criminal suspect who managed to steal a squad car, while handcuffed. Today White Settlement police located and arrested suspect Darren Douglas Porter.
Police said they got a tip on where Porter may be hiding. Officers found him in Fort Worth.
The squad car theft and subsequent fugitive theft began on Friday, December 7. It was that morning that White Settlement police received a call that someone was burglarizing an antique store. Officers said when they arrived they caught Porter red-handed.
The suspect was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police squad car. Officers stepped away to complete their investigation and were talking with the owner of the burglarized business.
White Settlement police Lt. J.P. Bevering said the incident was fairly routine until, “We had a couple of calls into our 911 center saying there was a police car driving erratically,” he said. “The suspect somehow was able to roll down the back window.”
WATCH THE UNEDITED DASH CAM VIDEO:
Getting that window down was crucial to the next set of events. There’s a good chance you may have seen the video. The back door of a police squad car opens slowly and a man gets out, with his hands behind his back. The man then moves to the front of the vehicle, opens the front door, gets in and drives away.
The officers at the scene had no idea their police car was gone until calls started coming across the radios. The business owner, Kenny Boone, said, “It kind of reminded me of the Keystone Cops. They were all running for their police cars to chase this guy. I shouldn’t say it was funny but it was kind of comical.”
But there was nothing funny about the potentially dangerous situation. A number of loaded, high-powered police rifles were inside the stolen squad car.
Police in White Settlement and Fort Worth searched for the vehicle on the ground and in the air. Some time later the squad car was found dam aged and abandoned in the parking lot of a Fort Worth apartment complex. The front tire of the car was blown out, but all of the rifles were accounted for and intact.
Police later released dashcam video of Porter’s wild ride. Video from inside the car shows Porter, still handcuffed, rolling through a stop sign. He then cuts the steering wheel so sharply that he loses control and nearly crashed into a row of parked cars.
Apparently the suspect wasn’t deterred, he puts the car in reverse and takes off again. Later he hits a puddle and spins out control. The dashboard camera flew off of its mount but captured video of the car spinning in circles.
The day of the incident Lt. J.P. Bevering said, “We’ll be looking at our policies and procedures as far as how to handle ourselves.” After Porter’s arrest on Wednesday officials with the White Settlement Police Department confirmed that all of the patrol cars in the fleet had been inspected, to make sure controls on the rear windows are disabled. The department said they took the move to, “prevent an incident from occurring in the future. “
Porter, 41, is now facing felony charges for Theft, Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Escape. He remains in the White Settlement Police Department Jail on a $225,000 bond.
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