CASS COUNTY, Mich. — A Warsaw man is in custody after police say he led them on a chase across state lines in a stolen police car on Friday afternoon.
According to police, it all started when a handcuffed shoplifting suspect at the Menards near Main Street in Mishawaka began fighting with a Mishawaka police officer and an off-duty St. Joseph County police officer who happened to be at the store.
During the struggle, police say the suspect, identified as 42-year-old Michael Lee Eppenbaugh, was somehow able to take control of a Mishawaka police car on scene and drive off. Officers located the stolen vehicle a short time later as it sped away north on Ironwood Road before crossing into Michigan.
Police say the stolen police car eventually crashed with another vehicle just east of Niles on M-60 near Yankee Street in Cass County. That’s where Eppenbaugh was taken into custody.
According to police, Eppenbaugh was taken to the hospital after the crash, but is now at the Cass County Jail. The driver of the other vehicle involved, a Vicksburg woman, was not injured.
Police say Eppenbaugh was also wanted on multiple warrants in Kosciusko County.
The incident remains under investigation. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says alcohol is believed to have played a role in the crash.