Man accused of stealing police cruiser caught in Cumberland

Man accused of stealing police cruiser caught in Cumberland

CUMBERLAND – Police have caught up to a man wanted for allegedly stealing a State Police cruiser in Providence on Thursday. Donald Morgan was found in Cumberland around 7 p.m. Friday evening by the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force.

The Valley Breeze first reported that Morgan was found in a home on Vermont Avenue. He was held overnight pending arraignment on Saturday, according to police. Vermont Avenue is located in Monastery Heights, off Bear Hill Road and Diamond Hill Road.

Morgan, age 35, has no permanent address, according to police. He allegedly stole the cruiser when a trooper stopped to check on an accident on Route 146 at approximately 9 a.m. Thursday. The cruiser was recovered shortly afterwards, when it was found abandoned in Providence.

Morgan was charged with escape from custody, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, obstructing an officer in execution of duty, larceny of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and resisting arrest.

Two other people were arrested and charged with harboring a criminal. They were identified as:

• Daniel Medeiros, 54, of 52 Vermont Ave.
• And Rachael Read, 47, of 52 Vermont Ave.

Neighbors told The Breeze Saturday that Morgan did not give himself up peacefully.

Morgan initially had been arrested about 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, after a car crash on I-95 South, near the intersection with Route 10. Troopers investigating the crash learned that the car had been reported stolen the day before.

Morgan was arrested at that time for possession of a stolen vehicle/parts and obstructing an officer in the execution of duties for allegedly providing misinformation about his identity at the time of his arrest.

Morgan was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash. He later was brought to the Lincoln Woods Barracks, where he was held overnight pending arraignment in Sixth Division District Court on Thursday. However, he escaped from custody at about 9 a.m. Thursday while a trooper was transporting him to court.

The investigation showed that Morgan was being transported in the rear seat of the cruiser with his hands cuffed in front of him due to the nature of the injuries suffered in the crash that led to his arrest. The trooper stopped to investigate a car crash blocking the southbound lanes of travel on Route 146 in Providence. When the trooper got out of his cruiser to check on the well-being of the motorists involved in the crash, Morgan took control of the cruiser and drove off.

The cruiser was recovered about a half-hour later, after it was found abandoned on Vineyard Street in Providence. Rhode Island State Police, assisted by officers from the Providence Police Department and the Cranston Police Department, launched an intensive search using K-9 units as well as the State Police Tactical Team. The search efforts ended Friday night, when the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Morgan at the Vermont Avenue home in Cumberland. They also arrested Daniel Medeiros and Rachael Read at that time.

The theft of the cruiser was apparently not tied to police shooting a man to death in his white pickup truck near the Providence Place Mall Thursday, though the two incidents were initially believed to be connected. Providence police on Friday released video of that shooting, as well as the highway chase that led up to the shooting. They told reporters that the shooting appeared to be justified.

See the video below from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation's traffic cameras.