published Sunday, January 6th, 2013, updated Jan. 6th, 2013 at 3:29 p.m.

Reward out for handcuffed man who stole Cleveland police car

Police in Cleveland, Tenn., are offering a reward to anyone helping find a man who stole a police car Saturday night with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Charles James Masengale, 29, escaped a pursuit by other Cleveland officers and crashed the stolen cruiser on Harrison Road about half a mile inside Hamilton County, then escaped into the woods, according to a news release.

Police spokeswoman Evie West said the event started about 9:15 p.m. when a Cleveland officer tried to make a traffic stop on Guthrie Drive. The driver refused to stop, but crashed his vehicle about a half-mile farther on at Georgetown Road and Westside Drive.

The officer, whose name was not released, got Masengale out, cuffed his hands behind him and placed him in the cruiser, West said. The officer saw methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in the car.

While the officer was speaking to a witness, “the suspect gained control of the police vehicle” and drove off, West said.

The stranded officer called dispatch and other police chased the stolen cruiser west on Harrison Pike until the driver crashed the car and escaped. A woman passenger, 20-year-old Amber Millaway, was taken by ambulance to SkyRidge Medical Center in Cleveland, according to the release.

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