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Handcuffed Ill. teen steals, then crashes squad car

The Associated Press

PEKIN, Illinois- A handcuffed teenager told police he was just trying to get home and get to bed when he stole and crashed a squad car after being arrested for leaving the scene of an earlier accident.

"We don't have a lot of empty (jail) beds here, but we found one for him," Tazewell County Chief Deputy Dick Ganschow said.

Police say 17-year-old Joshua Hall of Manito was belted in the back seat of the squad car when he somehow wriggled free, crawled through a small sliding door into the front seat, then drove away in handcuffs before crashing through two fence rows, a gate and into a row of trees.

"This is the kind of thing that you can joke about when it's over and no one ends up hurt, but this is a very serious incident that could easily have ended badly," Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston told the Pekin Daily Times.

Hall was first arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor after losing control of his car and crashing it early Thursday, police said.

He was arrested at his home and taken back to the crash site.

Because Hall had injured his hand in the crash, a deputy bandaged the wound then cuffed Hall's hands in front of his body instead of behind, Huston said.

After crashing about a mile from his first accident, he was arrested on charges of escape, aggravated possession of a converted vehicle, failure to wear a seat belt, reckless driving and another count of leaving the scene of an accident. He remains in jail in lieu of a $25,000 (euro19,510) bond.

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