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Damaged cruiser

The damaged Washington County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle is seen Monday at the Washington County Municipal Center. The vehicle was damaged in a chase on Friday in an effort to apprehend a suspect who managed to steal a patrol vehicle while handcuffed.

KINGSBURY — A Kingsbury man stole and crashed a police car Friday, taking off in the vehicle and leading police on a chase while handcuffed after he was arrested on a parole violation charge, according to police.

Wyatt M. Carpenter, 23, will face numerous felony, misdemeanor and traffic charges after the wild theft and a series of chases that played out over Friday afternoon and evening, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy described the series of events as follows:

Police were called to a home on Fairview Lane in Kingsbury around 1 p.m. for a reported heroin overdose. Aided over the phone by Washington County dispatchers, people at the home had used Narcan to reverse an overdose that Carpenter was experiencing.

Officers arrived to find that Carpenter, who is on parole for a 2017 drug conviction in Warren County, had fled the home on foot into a wooded area. He could not be located, until a sheriff’s patrol spotted him walking along Route 196 around 6 p.m. Friday.

He tried to flee again but was taken into custody, handcuffed with his hands behind his back and placed in the back seat of a Ford SUV patrol car.

The arresting officer, whose name was not released, was discussing the transportation of Carpenter and charges with officers for a matter of seconds when Carpenter somehow managed to get his arms over his head so that he was handcuffed in front.

He then managed to slide through the small window in the plastic divider between the front and back seats of the patrol car, get into the driver’s seat and get the car in drive and speed off.

Sheriff’s officers and State Police became involved in a chase with the patrol car as Carpenter sped out Notre Dame Street Extension to Smiths Basin, where he eventually turned the car around and drove back at pursuing patrol cars, forcing a Sheriff’s Office patrol off the road and damaging the vehicle.

Carpenter lost control of the patrol car seconds later, careening off the road near the intersection of county Route 41 and Route 149 and hitting a car parked along the side of the road. He was not hurt, but the patrol car and car that he hit were heavily damaged.

Carpenter will be charged with grand larceny and numerous charges related to the chase, including driving under the influence of drugs, and was sent to Washington County Jail.

Murphy said the Sheriff’s Office will review its policies and practices in light of the case, but he said it seemed the officer whose car was stolen followed proper procedures.

“Thankfully, no one was hurt,” Murphy said. “He (Carpenter) was handcuffed behind his back but was able to get his arms to the front and climb through the divider. This was a first during my career.”

He said the patrol car that Carpenter crashed suffered “pretty extensive damage” but appeared salvageable.

Carpenter is on parole for a 2017 conviction for criminal sale of a controlled substance, which stemmed from a heroin sale in Glens Falls. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison in the case and completed the state’s shock incarceration program.

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reporter - crimes & courts, public safety and Warren County government

Don Lehman covers crime, Warren County government and the outdoors for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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