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Stupid Case File for January 30, 2005

man swipes cruiser, then passes out

Courtesy of

ATHENS, Tenn. (AP) — An armed robbery suspect used the arrest of his partner as a diversion to steal a new patrol car, crash into a ditch, break into a woman's home and then fall asleep on her couch, authorities said.
Robert Bell was arraigned on a variety of charges after the spree that began with the hold up of a market early Wednesday, said McMinn County Sheriff Steve Frisbie. The other suspect charged is Patrick Elswood.
After hitting the market, the two robbers stole a Ford Bronco and led authorities chasing them into Athens. They ran the Bronco into a fence and struck a parked car.
The pair jumped out of the car and tried to run away as an officer got out of his cruiser to chase them on foot.
Authorities said Ellswood tried to attack the officer, who shot him with a stun gun.
But Bell got into the officer's cruiser and drove off — and then into the ditch, causing $3,200 damage to a car that had been in service only a week.
"In defense of the deputy, this was a felony stop and if he had turned off the car and taken out the keys, he probably wouldn't have stopped the man," Frisbie said. "It was a split-second decision."
Bell was captured after the woman who lived in the house he broke into called police to say he had passed out, reeking of alcohol.
Bell and Ellswood refused to give authorities their ages or addresses. They are charged with armed robbery, evading arrest, theft, criminal impersonation, unlawful possession of a weapon and several other crimes.


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