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Cruiser out of commission: Vehicle hit during stolen truck pursuit

A Lawrence County sheriff’s cruiser is out of commission after the department helped in the pursuit of stolen truck out of Huntington, West Virginia on Tuesday night.

According to a report from Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle, Matthew Taylor, 34, stole a truck in Huntington, West Virginia, early on Tuesday morning. The truck was spotted later in the day and when officers tried to stop it, Taylor crossed a bridge into Lawrence County where Ohio officers tried to stop the truck.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said that one of his deputies saw the truck on County Road 1.

“One of my officers was approaching in the opposite direction. The guy swerved at him, my guy tried to get out of the way and the truck kind of sideswiped the cruiser,” Lawless said.

The deputy was not hurt in the collision.

The pursuit continued on with Taylor fleeing back into Huntington, West Virginia, where officers used a spike strip to blow out the tires on the vehicle.

Taylor was taken into custody. He was taken to the hospital before being jailed on charges of grand larceny, driving under the influence, fleeing, assault of an officer without a weapon, destruction of property, obstruction and fleeing in a vehicle with reckless indifference to the safety of others.

Lawless said the cruiser is now at a garage in South Point to be repaired.

“It’s out of commission for awhile,” he said.

He added that a case against Taylor would be sent to the Lawrence County prosecutor to see if there is enough to file charges.

“We feel that it is an additional act, that he did purposely swerve towards the officer’s car,” Lawless said. “So, we are referring it to the prosecutor’s office for felonious assault on a peace officer.”