WHITEFORD TWP. (WWJ/AP) – A man in custody in a police SUV stole the vehicle Friday and crashed about 75 miles away after a wild chase through three counties in southern Michigan, authorities said.

The man wearing handcuffs somehow got through a screen that separates the front and rear seats of the patrol car, said Jon Johnston, deputy director of the Blackman-Leoni Public Safety Department in Jackson County.

“The screen was shut but not locked, or malfunctioned,” Johnston told the Jackson Citizen Patriot. “It’s a very small area where 70 percent of adults could not fit through.”

The chase began on Interstate 94 in Jackson County, then moved into Washtenaw County. The Tahoe crashed on U.S. 23 in Monroe County, near the Ohio border, after the tires were punctured, said state police Lt. Kyle Bowman.

The chase was so intense that a state trooper blew out an engine, Sgt. Mike Church said.

The Blackman Township police told WWJ the suspect,whose name was not immediately released, was transported to a Toledo hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

The incident began at a motel where Blackman-Leoni police were investigating a stolen vehicle.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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