11/14/17 – Hamilton, AL – Handcuffed Suspect Steals Patrol Car – Nearby School Is Put On Lockdown – Suspect Crashes Patrol Car In Tree
A man with handcuffs on was able to get behind the wheel of a patrol car and speed away before crashing.
The incident happened in Hamilton, Alabama, on Tuesday, November 14.
Hamilton Police Chief Ronnie Vickery says police officers were assisting the Marion County Sheriff’s Department with transporting a man to the county jail.
He says the incident began near 9:30 a.m. in a residential area in the southern part of Hamilton.
Vickery says the man was placed into the patrol vehicle with handcuffs behind his back, with a seatbelt on.
That’s when the man was able to get his hands in front of him and get behind the wheel of the patrol SUV.
Vickery says the man was able to speed away for about two miles before crashing into a tree just off Highway 17 South.
As a precaution, nearby Hamilton School was placed on precautionary lockdown, the police chief said.
Moments later, police received a call saying there was a man trying to get into a shed. That’s when officers and a K9 sounded the area and tracked him down hiding in a storm cellar.
The man was then captured. Vickery says the man still had handcuffs on.
The school lockdown was lifted after the man was captured.
The man is identified as Skylar Galbraith. Vickery says the man will be charged with first-degree theft of a vehicle. He also faces charges of escape, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, attempt to elude.
“I was going up and down the street telling people to lock their vehicles,” said Sonja Hogue.
Hogue lives near where the crash happened. She says her neighbor owns the storm house where Galbraith was found by police after running from the scene of the crash.
“She saw them open her storm house,” said Hogue. “And she saw another one go down in and they came out with this man.”