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Handcuffs don't stop suspect

Panhandle officials say the man stole a patrol car anyway, leading deputies on a high-speed chase.

Associated Press
Published April 4, 2005


DESTIN - A suspected T-shirt shoplifter who was handcuffed in the back of a deputy's vehicle managed to drive off in the SUV, leading deputies on a high-speed chase, officials said.

Scott Graves, 33, of Clanton, Ala., was charged with retail theft, grand theft auto and fleeing and eluding in Okaloosa County. He also faces two counts of misdemeanor battery, two counts of robbery and one count of attempted carjacking in Walton County.

Graves was held Sunday in Walton County Jail on $20,000 bail.

Graves was arrested Saturday for allegedly stealing merchandise from Maui Nix in Destin and was placed in handcuffs in the back of the deputy's Ford Expedition, officials said. The deputy also fastened a seat belt around him.

"They don't know how he did this yet, but he got into the front seat and took off with the vehicle," said Nicole Wagner, spokeswoman for the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

Graves removed the Plexiglas barrier between the front and back seats, she said.

Graves led deputes on a high-speed chase into Walton County where he abandoned the vehicle, then battered and robbed a person in a Taco Bell parking lot, said Capt. Danny Glidewell of the Walton County Sheriff's Office. He was still handcuffed, but had worked his hands to the front of his body, deputies said.

Next he walked to a nearby parking lot and tried to take a woman's car keys, but she threw them across the lot to prevent Graves from stealing her car, Glidewell said.

Another man picked up the keys and struggled with Graves, subduing him until deputies arrested him, Glidewell said.

[Last modified April 4, 2005, 01:26:10]


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