11/9/18 Marion, OH – Man Steals Marion County Sheriff’s Patrol Car While Deputy Was Serving A Warrant – Patrol Car Flipped Over And Totaled
November 9, 2018
One person is in custody and a deputy on administrative leave after his cruiser was stolen, taken for a joyride and crashed, according to Marion Sheriff Tim Bailey.
Charges may be filed against Blake Phillip Hoffman, 20, who is accused of stealing a deputy’s cruiser shortly before midnight Thursday, while the deputy was trying to serve an arrest warrant at a residence in the 800 block of East Center Street, Bailey told the Star.
No one was injured in the incident, Bailey said.
The cruiser was unlocked and a set of keys were in the SUV when it was stolen from where it had been parked, down the street from the residence where the arrest warrant was being served, Bailey said.
The suspect took off down Center Street, headed east, with the cruiser’s lights and sirens on, Bailey said. There were loaded weapons in the cruiser, as well, he said.
The suspect tried to turn onto Davids Street, but the cruiser flipped and rolled, landing on its roof in the Elite Auto Sales lot, Bailey said. Part of the cruiser was on top of the hood of a car in the lot, damaging its hood and cracking its windshield, he said.
The suspect, Hoffman, is believed to be suffering from mental health complications, Bailey said.
The cruiser was totaled, Bailey said, and will need to be replaced.
The deputy whose cruiser was left unlocked, Nick Van Buskirk, is on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, Bailey said. Depending on what the internal investigation finds, the deputy could be disciplined with anything from a written reprimand to firing.
Bailey said it is very fortunate that no one was hurt.
“I don’t know how fast he was going but he was going fast enough to destroy that cruiser,” he said.
Hoffman was arrested on suspicion of grand theft, a felony offense, and taken to the Multi-County Correctional Center, Bailey said. Prosecutors are reviewing the case, and no formal charges have been filed at this time.