State Police Cruiser Thief Arrested in Cumberland
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Morgan is the suspect involved in the theft of a State Police cruiser on Thursday morning.
He was arrested in Cumberland by members of the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force. He is being held overnight pending arraignment on Saturday.
According to State Police, details of the arrest will be announced at a news conference on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Rhode Island State Police Headquarters.
Related Slideshow: Step-by-Step How Deadly Police Shooting on I-95 Unfolded
9:05 AM Estimated
The cruiser was stolen by prisoner Donald Morgan, age 35, who has no permanent address.
“The trooper was transporting the individual to court this morning and came upon an accident scene, and somewhere along those lines, again it's still being investigated, but the suspect somehow from the rear of the vehicle got into the vehicle, the front of the vehicle, and drove the cruiser,” said Rhode Island State Police Colonel Ann Assumpico.
“It's under investigation but I know the trooper did leave the vehicle for a short time,” said Assumpico.
It is unclear why the cruiser was not secured per protocol.
9:30 AM Estimated
The cruiser was recovered shortly afterward when it was found abandoned in Providence in front of a two-family house -- 45 Vineyard.
It is located off of Huntington Avenue and near Route 10 on/off ramps.
When Providence Police and Rhode Island State Police found the abandoned cruiser and sources say they were told by witnesses that the perpetrator -- Morgan -- had escaped with a white pickup truck.
9:30 AM to 10:45 AM
Neither Providence Public Safety nor the RI State Police used social media to inform the public on any of the events unlike the practice in other cities.
In Boston, during the pursuit of the Marathon bombing suspects, police updated the media and the public constantly via social media and specifically, Twitter.
9:30 AM to 10:45 AM
Providence EMA issued the following Tweets:
Police activity around the #Providence place mall. Please avoid the area. Some on/off ramps are closed at this time— Providence EMA (@PEMA591) November 9, 2017
Road closures- Rte 6 on ramps, downtown Memorial Blvd., Broadway all blocked. Use alternate routes and avoid area. #Providence— Providence EMA (@PEMA591) November 9, 2017
9:30 AM to 10:45 AM
Four schools in the Bucklin street area were also affected and locked down, but were re-opened.
"What I can tell you is that there were four schools with restricted access this morning in the Bucklin Street area and those restrictions have been lifted -- we've been working with the police," said Laura Hart, with the Providence Public Schools Department, late Thursday morning.
10:45 AM Estimated
A white pickup truck was blocked in on the ramp entering on to I-95 North just outside on Providence Place Mall. The pick up in blocked in by a car that is stopped in front of it and another vehicle to its right.
ACCORDING TO POLICE SOURCES, GOLOCAL SPOKE TO LATE THURSDAY EVENING - A VIDEO WILL BE RELEASED BY POLICE ON FRIDAY THAT SHOWS THAT THE PICKUP CRASHED INTO ADJACENT VEHICLES. THE VIDEO SOURCE IS RIDOT CAMERAS.
1:45 PM Approximately
Steve Pare, Providence Public Safety Commissioner; Rhode Island State Police Colonel Ann Assumpico; and Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements held a press conference on the highway near the site of the shooting.
“At about quarter of 11 this morning, we had an officer involved in a shooting resulting in the death of a suspect. We have not positively identified the suspect. There was a second person in that vehicle that was shot and critically injured, she has not been positively identified. She is in the ER,” said Pare.
“We had police officers from Providence and we had troopers from the State Police involved in the shooting, so we had multiple. That's what we are investigating now, so we don’t have a lot of the details,” said Pare.
Pare said at the press conference, “We don’t know if it is related to the earlier theft of a police cruiser, at this point, that is what we are putting together as well."
Former U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha tells GoLocal, "Don’t know enough about it at this point to say definitively. That said, when I was U.S. Attorney, there was typically contact, and fairly quickly, between police agencies, particularly Providence Police, and federal authorities in the wake of police-involved shootings. Department of Justice policy when I was US Attorney was to wait for state/local review to be complete before deciding whether to do an in-depth federal review absent unusual circumstances. "
7:00 PM Approximately
The website UpriseRI.com published an op-ed, titled, "A Murder by Police in Rhode Island."
The opinion piece reads:
The person shot earlier today by Rhode Island State Police on I-95 was killed NOT because he caused any harm to civilians but because he was believed to be a person that the police designated as a suspect. The person who they were actually looking for was a person who tried to escape custody earlier in the day and stole their cruiser while he was being transported to the courthouse. His initial charges before taking the cruiser were obstruction and possession of a stolen vehicle. READ THE REST HERE
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