MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- A man approached an officer with a knife, stole his cruiser and intentionally hit another police officer in an "ambush type situation," Chief Rodney Muterspaw said.
Someone called police early Thursday morning and said Jason Cooper, 49, was intoxicated and hiding in the bushes, Maj. David Birk said. When Officer Glassburn arrived, Cooper came out of the bushes and approached Glassburn while holding a knife. Glassburn stunned him with a Taser when he did not drop the knife, but the Taser didn’t have any effect, Birk said.
Cooper got in Glassburn’s cruiser, fled the scene and intentionally crashed into another police cruiser driven by Officer Ryan Morgan. The cruisers crashed just before 1 a.m. on Bavarian Drive near Central Avenue, officials said.
Last night we had an ambush type situation. Suspect hid in bushes & approached with a knife. Tased, but jumped in cruiser while Officer at rear of car. Rammed another cruiser intentionally. Stay safe my friends. This worlds crazy. @OhioGoingBlue #Middletown pic.twitter.com/QWinamgYjl— Chief R. Muterspaw (@chiefmuterspaw) February 28, 2019
Birk said Cooper was using an app on his phone to listen to Middletown police’s scanners.
“Mr. Cooper was scanning our police channel through his phone app … so if he truly wanted to flee, he had more than enough time to get out of there and flee,” Birk said. “He was waiting for the officer to respond.”
Both Morgan and Cooper were transported to local hospitals; their injuries were not life threatening.
Cooper stands charged with felonious assault, aggravated vehicular assault, grand theft, aggravated menacing, assault on a police officer, obstructing, resisting arrest and driving under suspension and criminal tools.
The last time a suspect stole a Middletown Police Department cruiser was 2011, Birk said.
Ohio State Highway Patrol officials are handling the crash investigation; Middletown police are investigating what led up to the crash.