Rochester Police Car Stolen, Suspect Arrested
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) – Here’s a story you don’t hear that often – a stolen Rochester police car.
It happened Tuesday night in southeast Rochester, near the county fairgrounds. A patrol officer spotted a vehicle that had stopped in the middle of 16th St SE near the 3rd Ave. intersection around 10:30 p.m. A woman got out and was yelling about problems with the car and the officer went to talk to her.
Moments later, a man who had also been in the car ran to the officer’s squad. The officer struggled with the man in an effort to get him out of the squad. A passing motorist who saw what was going on stopped his car in front of the squad. But the man was able to drive off, striking the other car as he did so. Other officers tracked the vehicle’s GPS device to the Slatterly Park neighborhood and found the abandoned squad in the 900 block of 9th Ave SE. Its front tires and rims had been damaged.
Sgt. John Mitchell says the man had fled on foot but a police dog found him and after a few bites, the suspect was taken into custody. He has been identified as 23-year-old Travers McDaniel of Rochester. Mitchell suspects McDaniel had been drinking. This marked the first time in recent memory a Rochester squad was stolen.
As for McDaniel, he has an extensive criminal history, including cases involving fleeing police, driving without a license and domestic assault. He also tried breaking out of the Olmsted County jail in 2014. McDaniel broke a window in his cell that leads to the outside. But his escape attempt was thwarted because of the small size of the window and a bar that is inside the frame.