SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield police say a man managed to steal a police cruiser, and then taunted officers over their own radio for about 20 minutes before they were able to catch him.
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that Michael Kopeski, 27, of Springfield is being charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, four counts of assault and battery on an officer, and resisting arrest in connection with the incident early Thursday morning.
According to Delaney, Officers Shelley Whitley and Christopher Roberts were called to a home on Laurelton Street at around 4:00 A.M. for a report of a disturbance. When they got there they found a woman who said that she wanted Kopeski, her boyfriend, out of her house. Kopeski cooperated, but then allegedly told police he wanted to go back inside to “get his stuff.” When the police told him that he could not do so, he became enraged; calling the officers “pigs” before spitting on their cruiser and threatening to take it.
Delaney says the officers engaged the automatic lock on the cruiser doors, but the door opened anyway when Kopeski yanked on the handle. He began driving away, but Whitley managed to get the passenger door open and used pepper spray, though it had no effect and Kopeski managed to make a getaway.
Delaney told 22News the keys were left in the car and the car did not have GPS installed on its car, making it more difficult to track.
He remained free in the cruiser for about 20 minutes, during which time Delaney says he used the radio to taunt the police.
Officers were able to box Kopeski’s cruiser in near Berkshire Avenue and Page Boulevard.
Delaney says an officer had to break the cruiser window in order to get to Kopeski, who allegedly started punching at police before they were finally able to get him under arrest.
Kopeski will be arraigned Thursday in Springfield District Court.