A man under arrest in Maryland stole a police car and led officers on a chase in Hyattsville early Saturday, police say.
Abdul Hakim, of Greenbelt, was in police custody for assaulting a woman when he squirmed into the driver's seat of a squad car, sped off, hit cars, crashed again and then ran, according to Prince George's County police.
Officers responded to the 2300 block of University Boulevard at about 7:15 a.m. Saturday for a reported domestic dispute. Hakim, 43, reportedly hit a woman. Officers saw bruises on her face and arrested him on a domestic assault charge.
He was taken to the Department of Corrections facility in Hyattsville but officers learned he would need to be taken to the facility in Upper Marlboro because of an "underlying" medical issue.
Police say the arresting officer took Hakim back to the cruiser. The officer handcuffed him and secured him in a seat belt in the front seat. The officer started his cruiser and then briefly had to go back inside. He kept it running "in order to provide heat for Hakim," police said, and asked a second officer to watch Hakim.
While the first officer was inside, Hakim told the second officer his handcuffs were too tight, police said. The officer adjusted them.
Moments later, Hakim made his way into the driver's seat and put the car into gear.
The second officer tried to open a door to stop him but it was locked.
Hakim drove into a brick wall and sped away.
Prince George's County and Hyattsville City officers chased him. He hit sseveral cars and then crashed the cruiser at a park near 24th Avenue and Lyndon Street, police said. Then he ran.
Officers arrested him on 19th Avenue and found that he still had handcuffs on, though he had managed to slip his arms around to the front of his body.
No one was hurt, police said.
Chief Hank Stawinski thanked officers but said a procedure is under review.
"I am proud of the lengths to which my officers went to demonstrate their compassion to a sick individual they had arrested for a violent act on a cold day. It is always discouraging when an individual exploits kindness to commit more violence and endanger more people. Due to his actions, my agency is now reviewing the practice of leaving a cruiser running for any reason at all," Stawinski said in a statement.
Hakim faces charges of assault, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, unauthorized removal of a motor vehicle, motor vehicle theft, second-degree escape and theft, plus traffic offenses.