Woman drives off in patrol car

A Sturgis woman faces numerous charges after she managed to escape from handcuffs and drive a patrol car from the scene of an accident.

Sheriff Mark Lillywhite said authorities responded to a property-damage accident shortly after 3 a.m. Monday on Lutz Road near Hoshel Road.

The 25-year-old driver was subsequently arrested for operating while intoxicated. While deputies searched the vehicle she was driving, the suspect slipped free from her handcuffs and crawled through the squad car’s partition.

She drove the patrol car south on Lutz Road and failed to stop at the intersection of U.S. 12. The vehicle struck a utility pole and several trees. The suspect then fled on foot and was located about 100 yards away.

She was charged with operating while intoxicated, driving on a suspended license, no insurance, theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing and eluding, resisting and obstructing, false identification and leaving the scene of an accident, according to Lillywhite.

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