Man Accused of Stealing Police Cruiser While Handcuffed Faces Judge

A man accused of leading Maine authorities on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle after stealing and then ditching a police cruiser while handcuffed faced a judge Wednesday afternoon.

Charges filed against 22-year-old Tyler Tibbetts include possession of a firearm, stealing a police cruiser and stealing a second car, according to WCSH6.

Tibbetts was arrested Friday after crashing the second stolen vehicle into trees during the chase with law enforcement officials off of Route 15 in Corinth. He was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center for treatment, and he was placed into police custody on Tuesday.

WCSH6 reports Tibbetts was squatting at a home on Garland Road in Dexter with his girlfriend and 3-year-old child. Police reportedly arrived after the homeowners called them; however, a handcuffed Tibbetts was allegedly able to move the handcuffs to the front of his body, climb through an 11-inch-by-11-inch opening in the cruiser and then drive away as officers were reportedly installing a child car seat in a second cruiser.

Penobscot County Assistant District Attorney Mary Ann Lynch told WCSH that Tibbetts tried to get someone to help him remove the handcuffs after ditching the cruiser in Garland, but added, "That didn't happen."

It's unclear if Tibbetts has an attorney or when he'll appear in court next.

WCSH reported Tibbetts was out on probation at the time of Friday's theft and chase, and has felony charges pending in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties.

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