Police: Man steals, crashes Colorado Springs police cruiser

This crime spot reporting was posted online then printed in The Gazette July 23, 2014.

A stolen police cruiser was crashed into a chain-link fence at 2010 S. Corona Ave. Tuesday evening. Photo courtesy Sheila and Mark Howland.

A man who was left handcuffed in the back seat of a Colorado Springs police cruiser allegedly escaped his restraints, unlocked a window separating the front and back seats and climbed through the opening to steal the patrol car Tuesday night.

Mug shot of Dustin Guinn taken July 4, 2014. Contributed by Colorado Springs Police Department.

Mug shot of Dustin Guinn taken July 4, 2014. Contributed by Colorado Springs Police Department.

Dustin Guinn, 21, drove recklessly for five minutes, hitting a parked car that smashed against a guard rail, said Lt. Catherine Buckley, a police spokeswoman. Guinn then crashed into the chain link fence surrounding the front yard at 2010 S. Corona Ave., where the cruiser came to rest against a tree, police said.

The escapade began on the city’s south side as police were investigating a car break-in. Police could not connect Guinn to the break-in, but found he had felony and misdemeanor warrants for his arrest.

Guinn was handcuffed behind his back and buckled into the back seat of the cruiser, Buckley said. She said the officers probably left the car running to leave the air conditioner on for Guinn because of the extreme heat. Officers left Guinn unattended in the vehicle to check another car related to the car break-in, Buckley said.

Sheila and Mark Howland were watching the movie “Waterworld” on television when they heard the crunch of the car at about 7:45 p.m. Mark Howland said he looked out the window and saw a police cruiser in their front yard.

Sheila Howland said Guinn got out of the car as the tires blew and jumped a fence into their backyard.

The Howlands’ son, a 25-year-old who lives at home and preferred not to be named, was about to get into his car in the driveway when the cruiser came to a stop in the yard. Sheila Howland said he jumped the fence, too, and body-slammed Guinn.

Sheila Howland said police officers then jumped the fence and four officers pinned Guinn to the ground and got both of his legs behind his back because, she said, he tried to kick police in the face. She said Guinn told police that his shoulder was injured.

Guinn was the only person harmed, Buckley said.

“He’s going to be fine enough to go to jail tonight,” Buckley said.

Guinn will be charged with motor vehicle theft in addition to his felony and misdemeanor warrants.

The fence is totaled. “So much for watching our show tonight,” Mark Howland said.