Handcuffed Maryland suspect drives away in police cruiser

January 21, 2020 GMT

HYATTSVILLE, Md. (AP) — A man being arrested for domestic assault managed to slip his handcuffs to the front of his body, hop into the driver’s seat of a Maryland police officer’s cruiser and drive away, Prince George’s County police said.

The suspect, Abdul Hakim, 43, drove a few miles in the cruiser, struck several cars and eventually crashed in a park before trying to escape on foot, the police department said in a statement Sunday.

When officers took him into custody again, Hakim still had on the handcuffs but had managed to slip his arms to the front of his body.

He had initially been arrested around 7:15 that morning after officers responded to an assault call and found a woman with bruises on her face, police said. He was being transported to the Upper Marlboro Department of Corrections from the Hyattsville location when he complained his handcuffs were too tight and had them readjusted.

The officer preparing to drive him left the car briefly to go back inside the police building and asked another officer in a nearby car to watch him, according to the statement. During that time, Hakim climbed from the front passenger’s seat into the driver’s seat, put the car in gear and sped off.

In addition to the original domestic assault charge, Hakim now faces resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, unauthorized removal of a motor vehicle, motor vehicle theft, second degree escape and theft charges as well as traffic offenses.