A Jefferson County man who escaped from police by stealing a Crothersville officer’s squad car Wednesday evening was captured after being on the run for more than 12 hours, police report.
Riley James Nasby, 20, of Madison faces charges of escape from lawful detention, auto theft, resisting law enforcement, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle causing substantial risk to another person and possession of stolen property after his arrest Thursday in Jackson County near the Scott County line.
The incident that led to Nasby fleeing police began about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday evening in the 9400 block of South County Road 800E as Crothersville Capt. J.L. McElfresh was investigating a report of a stolen Dodge Charger.
McElfresh said after police found and stopped the car, Nasby was arrested and put into the front seat of McElfresh’s police car. The town’s police cars are not equipped with cages, and McElfresh said police officers are trained that it’s safer for officers to put suspects in the front seat if the car doesn’t have a cage.
Nasby’s hands were handcuffed behind his back, McElfresh said.
As McElfresh was searching the Charger and other officers were interviewing a female passenger in the vehicle, Nasby was able to gain control of the police car, drive through a yard and onto State Road 256.
After a pursuit of about a mile and a half, Nasby drove into a field near a wooded area and exited the cruiser on foot, police said. During the pursuit, dispatchers were able to keep track of the cruiser through its GPS system. There was no damage to the police car.
Officer Adam Nicholson with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department said police remained on the scene until around 10:30 p.m. looking for Nasby but were not able to find him.
Scott County Sheriff’s Department and Seymour Police Department K-9 units were on the scene along with the Indiana State Police helicopter. Local fire departments also brought infrared thermal imaging units to help with the search.
“We felt like we exhausted all the efforts we could given the hour,” Nicholson said. “At that point, we didn’t know if he found a ride somewhere, and we didn’t have any reports of stolen vehicles or homes being broken into.”
Nicholson and county Officer Rob Henley returned to the area early Thursday morning to look for Nasby but again were unsuccessful.
A short time later, a person called the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department to report a man walking along State Road 256 in Jackson County near County Road 1025E.
Nicholson responded to the scene and found Austin police officers and Nasby still with his handcuffs on.
Nicholson said Nasby told him he spent the night in the same wooded area after finding a small blanket.
The female passenger was not arrested in the incident.
Nasby was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 12:23 p.m. Thursday and was being held without bond.