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Sirens & Gavels

Cops: Fugitive rams patrol car, escapes

A drug and stolen property suspect already sought by Crime Stoppers rammed a sheriff’s patrol car Tuesday while successfully eluding a deputy, authorities said.

Michael S. Wheeler, 36, sped away from Deputy Jeff Shover in a white Chevrolet pickup after Shover spotted him pulling out of a driveway in the 4900 block of East Deer Park-Milan Road and tried to pull him over, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Shover recognized Wheeler as being wanted on several arrest warrants. Wheeler sped away westbound on Eloika Lake Road from Milan-Elk Road, then rammed Shover’s patrol car at 5:07 p.m.

Shover was not injured, but his patrol car was “rendered inoperable,” according to the sheriff’s office. The car’s PIT bumper was torn off, the push bars were pushed back through the radiator, the oil pan was punctured and there was significant body damage, a news release said.

Wheeler was last seen northbound on Valley Road at high speed. His truck’s damaged tailgate hanging down and items were falling from the bed of the truck.

Wheeler faces a new assault charge for the alleged incident as well as previous charges of first-degree possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and second-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Crime Stoppers has been offering a reward for tips that lead to his capture since October.

Wheeler, 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, last gave 35616 N. Highway 395 in Deer Park as his address. Anyone with information on his current location is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.


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