Police cruiser stolen; officers taunted over the radio

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.

Michael Kopeski, 27, of Springfield is accused of stealing a city police cruiser and riding it around the city for about 20 minutes while taunting the police over the radio. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department
Michael Kopeski, 27, of Springfield is accused of stealing a city police cruiser and riding it around the city for about 20 minutes while taunting the police over the radio. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department

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.

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.

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