Middletown officer ‘ambush,’ cruiser theft, crash: 7 things we know today

A man is accused of stealing a Middletown police cruiser and then ramming another on Thursday morning.

Here are seven things we learned about the incident involving suspect by Jason Cooper, who allegedly “intentionally” crashed into a cruiser driven by officer Ryan Morgan:


Why police responded

A female called 911 Middletown dispatchers at 12:54 a.m. Thursday reporting her boyfriend was “extremely drunk,” slamming doors, yelling and cursing. When an officer arrived minutes later for the disturbance in the 100 block of Bavarian Drive, she stood on the second-floor balcony and told him her boyfriend was hiding in the bushes outside the apartment.

Police: Cooper had knife, came at officer

Cooper allegedly came out from behind the bushes, and displayed a knife to the officer, Patrick Glassburn. Cooper, 49, was listening to the police scanner on his cell phone and intended to ambush the officers, Middletown police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said.

Glassburn told Cooper to drop what he was carrying, and when he refused, he was shocked by Glassburn’s taser that was ineffective.

Cooper then got into the cruiser and crashed into a cruiser driven by Morgan, who was responding to the call. Major David Birk said Middletown sends two officers to all calls, regardless of the seriousness.

Cooper captured, sent to hospital

When Cooper wrecked, the stolen cruiser flipped on its side and he was apprehended. He was taken to Atrium Medical Center and treated for a punctured lung and injured arm, Birk said Morgan was treated and released from Middletown Kettering Medical Center.

Morgan’s canine, Chase, retired a few weeks ago, and wasn’t in the cruiser, Birk said.

Officer followed department procedures, officials say

Birk said Glassburn, 35, who has been on the force for 15 months, showed “great restraint” by not firing his weapon. Instead, he deployed his taser, then dropped the taser and transitioned to his gun.

If he had fired, the result could have ended “the other way,” Birk said. “We are fortunate we had this outcome.”

Muterspaw said the incident is under investigation, but he believed the officers used “every level of force” necessary.

Cooper’s criminal history

He never has been arrested before in Middletown, according to court documents. Police responded to the same address for a public disturbance one other time, police said.

What charges Cooper faces

Cooper was charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony; aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony; grand theft felony, of the fourth degree; aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor; assault on a police officer, a fourth-degree felony; obstructing official business, resisting arrest, driving under suspension and criminal tools.

He is scheduled to appear this morning for an arraignment in Middletown Municipal Court, according to records.

Not first time cruiser stolen

The department has had three cruisers stolen in the last 22 years, inluding in 1997 and 2011, Birk said.

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