A 27-year-old man stole three vehicles within six hours Wednesday and crashed head-on into a Lincoln police cruiser before he was shocked with a Taser.
At 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, a Dodge Dakota pickup truck driven by the man became stuck in a snowdrift in a neighborhood near 70th and A Streets in Lincoln. Authorities later determined that the pickup had been stolen about 30 minutes earlier from an assisted living facility.
A 79-year-old man offered to help the 27-year-old dig the pickup out of the snow. When the older man got out of his Volkswagen Jetta and began to dig, the younger man jumped into the driver’s seat of the Jetta.
The older man ran back to his car and tried to grab the steering wheel, police said, but the younger man sped away, dragging the older man.
About 8:50 p.m., police officers went to investigate a three-vehicle collision that occurred roughly four miles from the 70th and A incident. Officials said the 27-year-old had been driving the stolen Jetta east on Adams Street when he ran a red light at 84th Street, and the Jetta hit two other vehicles. Two people went to the hospital to be treated for their injuries.
An 18-year-old witness told officers that he stopped his Jeep Grand Cherokee and went to help the crash victims. The 27-year-old man then got in the Jeep and drove away.
About 10 minutes later, the 27-year-old returned to the scene of the crash and drove the Jeep into the back of a fire engine and through the crash site. He kept going when police tried to apprehend him.
About 9:30 p.m., Lincoln police officers pulled the Jeep over at 25th and M Streets. The driver stopped but then accelerated, crashing head-on into a marked police cruiser. The officer in that cruiser suffered neck and back pain, officials said.
Authorities said the man didn’t listen to officers’ commands and tried to restart the Jeep, but it was disabled after the collision. Officers broke out the rear window and shocked the man with a Taser.
The man then fought with the officers, authorities said, and officers pulled him from the vehicle.
The man was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment, Lincoln police said. He suffered minor facial injuries from the collision at 84th and Adams and was trying to spit blood on police officers, Lincoln Fire & Rescue workers and hospital staff, officials said.
The man, who according to court documents has no permanent address, was booked into the Lancaster County Jail on suspicion of seven felony and two misdemeanor charges.