Insanity plea ‘will not fly’ for Middletown man accused of stealing, crashing police cruiser

A doctor determined a Middletown man’s not guilty plea by reason of insanity “will not fly,” so the plea was withdrawn Tuesday morning before Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater.

Jason Cooper, of Middletown, was indicted earlier by a Butler County grand jury for two counts of felonious assault, aggravated robbery, grand theft, two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of vandalism and possessing criminal tools. He allegedly stole a Middletown police cruiser and purposely crashed into another cruiser.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges by reason of insanity, but the doctor determined he was competent to stand trial. His court-appointed attorney, Robert Qucsai III, withdrew the not guilty plea and asked for a plea or trial date set for Aug. 6.

Cooper’s bond remained at $250,000.

When Cooper appeared Tuesday morning, his arm remained bandaged, and several times throughout the other cases he has smiled and looked around the courtroom.

On Feb. 28, Cooper’s girlfriend called Middletown 911 dispatchers claiming he was “extremely drunk,” slamming doors, yelling and cursing. When officer Patrick Glassburn arrived to the 100 block of Bavarian Street, the 911 caller stood on the second-floor balcony and told the officer her boyfriend was hiding in the bushes outside the apartment.

As Cooper hid, he listened to the police scanner on his cell phone, and Chief Rodney Muterspaw believes Cooper was going to “ambush” the officer, he said. Cooper allegedly came out from behind the bushes and displayed a knife to the officer. Glassburn told Cooper to drop what he was carrying, and when he refused, he was shocked by Glassburn’s Taser, which was ineffective.

Cooper then got into the cruiser and crashed into a cruiser driven by Officer Ryan Morgan, who was responding to the disturbance call.

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