PORTLAND (WGME) – Accused of stealing a police cruiser while in handcuffs, Tyler Tibbetts, 22, of Lagrange is now out of the hospital and facing legal action.
He is now facing more than a dozen charges, ranging from theft to escape.
A judge ordered on Wednesday that he be held on $25,000 cash bail.
Meanwhile, police demonstrate how Tibbetts managed to allegedly squeeze through a tiny partition in the police cruiser before taking off.
Through a prisoner partition — only about 11 inches by 11 inches — Dexter police say 22-year-old tyler tibbetts was able to squeeze through from the back seat to the front seat of the cruiser.
STEVE MCCAUSLAND | STATE POLICE
“He had been placed under arrest by Dexter police and the handcuffs placed in back of him,” Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said.
Police say they left Tibbets unattended in a running car “due to climate control safety issues” while on scene helping the suspect’s girlfriend and young child.
“Somehow he contorted himself to get the handcuffs in front,” McCausland said.
Captain Scott Stewart of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said he has seen in before.
“They are few and far between and, hopefully, no officer has this happen in their career,” Stewart said.
According to state records, tibbetts is 5 foot 9 and weighs 130 pounds.
“We try to prepare for every scenario but there will always be that 1 percent [when] these things do happen,” Stewart said.
The Dexter Police Department said it is working to be more prepared, too.
Today a senior officer told us this kind of escape will never happen again because they have modified all of the department’s cruisers to remove the partition window.
“There’s no one industry standard; it’s all preference. Price has a lot to do with it,” Stewart said.
Captain Stewart said whenever possible, police transport prisoners in vehicles that do not have a partition window that opens.
He said that he suspects all law enforcement agencies are looking closely at the incident in Dexter.
“We have to ask ourself, ‘How did this happen how can we prevent it from happening in the future?'” he said.