Fugitive who stole St. Charles police SUV, started chase arrested

A fugitive who apparently stole a St. Charles Parish police vehicle and initiated a tri-parish car chase following his arrest Monday morning was arrested Tuesday.

Michael John, 31, was apprehended in New Orleans at approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday night, according St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. James Grimaldi. Grimaldi said two St. Charles Parish detectives were conducting surveillance near an area where John was known to frequent and spotted John.

Grimaldi said John was arrested without incident and transported to St. Charles Parish for questioning before he is booked into jail on charged of theft of a motor vehicle, theft, aggravated flight from an officer and aggravated escape.

Michael John

On Monday morning,  deputies responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked behind a Pilot Gas Station on Airline Hwy. in St. Rose, occupied by a driver thought to potentially be using heroin. The report was called in at approximately 5 a.m., according to Grimaldi.

He said when officers arrived, the suspect tried driving away in his vehicle, but crashed into a ditch. Officers handcuffed the man and placed him in the backseat of a deputy’s patrol SUV.

But moments later, as the deputy investigated the scene of the crash, he saw his patrol vehicle being driven away from the scene. That led to a pursuit down Airline Hwy. in the direction of New Orleans. Grimaldi said one deputy in pursuit was involved in a crash near David Drive in Jefferson Parish. That incident is being investigated by Louisiana State Police. The officer involved sustained no injuries, Grimaldi said. Two other people were taken to East Jefferson Hospital as result of the crash with minor injuries, according to state police.

Officers lost sight of the SUV near Xavier University in New Orleans.

Police recovered the stolen vehicle later that day after it was found abandoned on the 700 block of Toledano St. in New Orleans.

The vehicle the suspect drove initially during the incident was also reported stolen out of New Orleans.


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