Handcuffed Teen Steals NYC Police Cruiser, Goes On 13-Mile New Year’s Day Joyride

A drunken North Carolina teen managed to make his way to the front seat of the police car he was placed into early New Year’s Day and drove away in it, all while remaining handcuffed.

Eighteen-year-old Dekota Locklear of Lumberton was charged with grand larceny, reckless endangerment, and aggravated DUI following the incident, which took place after he was stopped by the NYPD for alleged drunk driving early Sunday morning, the New York Daily News reports.

According to officers, Locklear was first picked up at a DWI checkpoint on W. 158th St. near Henry Hudson Parkway at around 2 a.m. After being deemed unfit to drive, he was removed from his vehicle, placed in handcuffs, and led to the back of the arresting officer’s cruiser and had the door locked behind him. Noticing that the police car had no petition grate, the teenager subsequently crawled his way over the sectional and into the driver’s seat, where he saw that the key was still in the ignition.

Before Locklear could be stopped, he turned the ignition and sped down the streets of Manhattan, nearly killing one of the NYPD members who had been summoned for assistance in the process.

“Somehow, this guy made it into the front of the vehicle and drove off with it,” NYPD Detective Christopher Pisano relayed to the Journal News on the matter.

“It’s impressive. That’s some sort of Harry Houdini move.”

Police insinuate that Locklear was able to maneuver his body in such a way that allowed his hands to situate in front of him. However, the theory has not been publicly confirmed.

Around 4 a.m., the police car was tracked down 13 miles away in Saw Mills Road of Yonkers, where the offending teen was said to have continued his escape on foot. Locklear himself was recovered shortly thereafter. Along with the aforementioned charges, he is also facing alleged assault of a police officer claims, as well as criminal mischief. An arraignment was said to be planned for Locklear on Sunday afternoon.

In related NYPD news, an officer who allowed a suspected thief to escape capture as he talked on his cell phone has been suspended from duty, according to WPIX-11.

Six-year NYPD veteran Albert Belcher was reportedly ordered to stand watch outside a Lenox Hill Healthplex hospital room on Thursday, December 29, as convicted robber Daniel Ortiz, 32, waited to be treated for injuries he incurred during a stabbing three days prior.

Before doctors arrived, Belcher, who was not one of the arresting officers, removed one of the handcuffs that Ortiz had been locked into, and cuffed it to the right side of a bed, leaving the reported criminal’s left hand free. At the request of medical workers, he also detached a pair of ankle shackles that had been placed around Ortiz’s legs. After doing so, he then was captured by hospital surveillance cameras walking out of the room to sit down on a chair that was several feet away, in order to speak on his cell phone.

Four minutes later, when Belcher returned to the room, Ortiz was nowhere in sight.

Officers searching for the purported thief say that Ortiz’s handcuffs were still partially attached to the bed, which makes them believe that Belcher may not have fastened them tightly enough on Ortiz’s wrist. Additionally, a backdoor exit at the end of the hospital’s corridor which should have been locked was found to be open. Witnesses say that a man matching Ortiz’s description was seen fleeing from the hospital with no shirt on, and a pair of shackles being dragged from one of his ankles.

An insider for the NYPD tells the New York Daily News that Belcher is in big trouble.

“The officer basically dropped the ball,” the insider expressed. “A prisoner has to always be under constant observation.”

As of this posting, Ortiz is still at large. Belcher, meanwhile, is said to be facing several departmental charges for his actions.

[Featured Image by Christian Mueller/iStock]