Police speak out regarding alleged stolen police car and chase

NOW: Police speak out regarding alleged stolen police car and chase

MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Mishawaka Police speak out regarding a car chase out of Mishawaka on Friday, when a suspect allegedly stole a police car.

The incident reportedly started at Menards, where the suspect, Michael Lee Eppenbaugh, was handcuffed in the back for suspected shoplifting.

Eppenbaugh was reportedly able to climb from the back seat into the front passenger seat of the squad car with handcuffs on and drove off, leaving police behind.

Mishawaka Police Sergeant Steven Headley spoke with ABC57 about how Eppenbaugh was able to get control of the squad car in the first place.

“The individual was able to get the handcuffs from behind his body to his front," said Headley. "He was able to crawl into the front passenger compartment of the squad car and he drove off in it while still handcuffed."

Police tracked 42-year-old Eppenbaugh of Warsaw from Mishawaka into Michigan, where he ended up crashing the squad car at M-60 near Yankee, just east of Niles.

Then, he got out and started running.

St. Joseph and Cass County police caught up to Eppenbaugh and he was taken to the hospital.

Sergeant Headley says officers followed all standard operating procedures.

The incident is still under investigation.

Eppenbaugh has multiple warrants in Kosciusko County.

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