Chief: Suspect ambushed officer to steal Middletown cruiser, crash into 2nd cruiser

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Rodney Muterspaw says it was an ambush

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said a cruiser stolen early this morning by a man hiding in the bushes with a knife was an ambush.

When officer Patrick Glassburn responded around 1 a.m. to a call for help at a Bavarian Drive apartment complex, he found a woman yelling from a balcony.

ExplorePOLICE: Suspect laughed at officers after stealing Middletown cruiser, ramming another cruiser

“He sees a woman on the balcony screaming or yelling something,” Muterspaw said in an interview with this news outlet.

“He walked to the back of the cruiser to try to see what the woman is saying. At that point he turns and looks and his driver’s door is still open and somebody is coming out of some bushes walking toward him and he has a knife in his hand.”

Glassburn told the suspect, identified by police as Jason Cooper, to drop the knife, Muterspaw said.

“He didn’t drop the knife … the officer Tases the suspect. He is not phased by the Tasing. At that point the suspect jumps in the officer’s cruiser.”

Muterspaw said Glassburn drew his gun when the Taser was ineffective, but Cooper jumped in the cruiser and Glassburn re-holstered his gun. No shots were fired.

As Cooper drove the stolen cruiser up Bavarian Drive, Office Ryan Morgan was traveling toward the call as backup.

“The suspect is going at a high rate of speed and he swerves intentionally to try to hit Officer Morgan’s cruiser,” Muterspaw said.

Morgan said all he saw was a guy swerve at him, according to the Chief.

“He (Morgan) turned quickly. Both cars were damaged, one flipped,” Muterspaw said. “Our officers are OK, thank God.”

Muterspaw said detectives believe Cooper’s actions were intentional. He referred to the incident as an ambush on the part of Cooper.

The chief said the incident is still under investigation, but he believed the officers used “every level of force they were supposed to.”

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