A man arrested for grand larceny in Wetzel County is facing additional charges after stealing and wrecking the police cruiser that was to transport him to jail.
Wetzel County Sheriff Mike Koontz reported Joseph Tyler Marcum, 28, is currently facing two counts of grand larceny and one count of felony escape.
Koontz said the sheriff’s office had received a report April 27 of a stolen vehicle in the Simpson Hill area of Wetzel County. The vehicle was found wrecked at the bottom of Simpson Hill, and Deputy David Howell later found two of the suspects and arrested them on warrants from Wood County.
WCSO Deputy Donald Bordenkircher then found and arrested Marcum, who was identified by the owner of the stolen vehicle.
After Marcum was arraigned in Wetzel County Magistrate Court, he was sitting, handcuffed, in the backseat of Bordenkircher’s police cruiser. Koontz said Bordenkircher had briefly exited his cruiser to ask fellow WCSO Deputy Rob Hayes a question.
Koontz said apparently the divider between the backseat and front seat of the cruiser was not latched, as Marcum got into the front seat of the cruiser and drove a distance on Main Street before crashing into a utility pole.
Sheriff Koontz said Marcum was apprehended by two civilian members of the public. Deputies Bordenkircher and Hayes, in Hayes’ cruiser, arrived just moments later.
“Thank God no one else was involved or got hurt,” Sheriff Koontz said of the situation. “It could’ve been bad.”
Marcum is currently housed at Northern Regional Jail.