Police & Fire

Handcuffed man accused of stealing Maine cruiser discharged from hospital to county jail

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The handcuffed man who stole a Dexter police cruiser last week was released from a Bangor hospital Monday and then charged for the theft, authorities said.

Tyler Tibbetts, 22, is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail after he spent four days at Eastern Maine Medical Center for injuries he suffered in a crash on Friday afternoon while fleeing police, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said. Tibbetts did not qualify for bail because he violated previous probation conditions, a booking officer said.

McCausland did not know the nature of Tibbetts injuries, and the hospital declined to release that information. A corrections officer at the jail was not aware of any pressing medical needs for Tibbetts.

Around 10:30 a.m. Friday, Tibbetts had been placed under arrest and handcuffed in the backseat of a Dexter police cruiser for violating his probation, police said. While the officer was attending to Tibbetts’ girlfriend, Tibbetts maneuvered his hands to the front of his body, squirmed through a 11 inch by 11 inch window in the cruiser’s backseat partition and sped off.

Police said Tibbetts later ditched the police cruiser in Garland.

Hours later, police spotted Tibbetts behind the wheel of another car and chased him until he crashed on Route 15 in Dover-Foxcroft. He remained pinned in the wreck for a period of time while a LifeFlight helicopter headed to the scene, police said.

After he was discharged from the hospital, Maine State Police charged Tibbetts with theft of a motor vehicle.

He still faces charges related to two warrants that drew police to his home on Friday. Those charges include two counts of theft, and several reckless driving offenses, according to the jail.

Tibbetts is expected to appear Wednesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center, according to the Penobscot district attorney’s office.

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