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Charges Filed Against Man In Theft Of RI State Police Cruiser

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBS) -- Rhode Island State Police announced charges against the man they say stole one of their cruisers last week, leading to a two-day manhunt.

Donald Morgan, 35, who has no permanent address, is charged with escape from custody, possession of a stolen vehicle, obstructing an officer, larceny of a vehicle, reckless driving, and resisting arrest.

donald morgan stolen rhode island police cruiser
Donald Morgan. (Rhode Island State Police)

He was caught at a home in Cumberland around 7 p.m. Friday night, right near the Massachusetts state line by members of the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force.

Two people in that home, Daniel Medeiros, 54, and Rachael Read, 47, were arrested and charged with harboring Morgan.

rhode island providence stolen police cruiser
Daniel Medeiros and Rachael Read, charged with harboring Morgan. (Rhode Island State Police)

During the hunt for Morgan, State and Providence Police shot and killed Joseph Santos, who was driving a truck that fit the description of one supposedly being driven by Morgan, on I-95 Thursday.

Police initially thought that the theft and Santos's shooting two hours later were related, but then came to realize they were not.

In a release Saturday, State Police said it's unclear whether there's a connection between Santos and Morgan, but said Santos was not connected to the cruiser theft.

State Troopers arrested Morgan after a crash on I-95 South near the intersection with Route 10 around 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The car involved was found to be reported stolen on Tuesday. Morgan was arrested in that theft and the crash after State Police said he gave misinformation about his identity to officers.

He was treated for injuries in the crash, then held overnight at the Lincoln Woods State Police Barracks.

State Police say he escaped as he was being driven to court the next day--managing to steal the cruiser he was being driven to court in, while in handcuffs, around 9 a.m.

They explained that, due to Morgan's injuries from the crash the day before, his hands were cuffed in front of him, rather than behind. When the trooper driving him got out of the cruiser to investigate a car crash on Route 146 in Providence, that's when they say Morgan made his move and took off in the car.

The cruiser was found abandoned on Vineyard Street in Providence about half an hour after Morgan's escape.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe reports

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