Video: Pa. woman steals cruiser while cuffed, leads pursuit
Police believe woman squeezed through an opening in the partition that wasn't latched and crawled into the front seat before zooming off
ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — A woman has been ordered to stand trial on charges she stole a police cruiser and led officers on an 80 mph chase — all while her hands were cuffed behind her.
Center Township police testified at Roxanne Rimer's preliminary hearing Monday that she was arrested after stealing earrings from a Kohl's store Jan. 14.
Police testified that a loss prevention officer detained the 27-year-old Rimer, who apparently gave a fake name and claimed to be a juvenile. Before police could arrive, Rimer ran away and jumped into a car driven by her grandfather, police said. That car was pulled over moments later, and Rimer was removed, handcuffed and placed in the back seat of a police cruiser, screaming, "Mommy! Mommy!" authorities said.
Police don't believe the grandfather knew of the shoplifting allegation.
Officers say while police were searching her grandfather's car, the thin Chippewa Township woman squeezed through an opening in a partition in the cruiser that wasn't latched and crawled into the front seat.
She zoomed off, smashing into her grandfather's car as she drove away, still handcuffed, police said.
Rimer then led officers on a nearly 10-mile chase, weaving in and out of traffic, before she crashed into a hillside and jumped out of the car, police said.
District Judge James DiBenedetto ordered her to stand trial on charges including aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, fleeing and eluding police, and robbery.
Her attorney, Steven Valsamidis, argued against the aggravated assault charge — filed because of accusations the officers were endangered — because he said Rimer didn't intend to injure anyone and nobody was hurt.
But the judge agreed with the prosecutor, who said Rimer put both the police and her grandfather at risk.
"She was going to get out of that situation at whatever the cost," said Frank Martocci, assistant district attorney in Beaver County.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press