February 1, 2012

Fleeing man caught after traffic crash

Stock Island – A man wanted for escaping from a jail in Louisiana the day after Christmas was caught just before midnight after he crashed a stolen car on Stock Island.

Key West Police radioed the Sheriff’s Office they were following a red Mini Cooper that was stolen and wouldn’t stop. Deputies Chris Fraser and Massiel Brimo parked on the Stock Island side of the Cow Key Channel Bridge and spotted the vehicle as it crossed the bridge at 11:40 p.m., with a Key West Police car behind it.

The deputies got behind the Mini Cooper with his lights and siren activated. At first it appeared the vehicle was going to stop in the parking lot of Dion’s Quik Mart, but then the car sped off, onto MacDonald Avenue. The driver, later identified as 43 year old Craig Rannells, attempted a sharp turn onto Hollerich Street, but instead crashed into some utility boxes on the side of the road.

He was taken into custody as he exited the vehicle. A check on his name revealed he was wanted in Louisianna for escaping from the Richland Parish Detention Center; he was  reportedly in jail on charges of kidnapping and attempted aggravated rape.

Rannells told the officers he stole the vehicle so he could leave town. He was charged with fleeing and eluding police and driving with a suspended license. More charges are pending by Key West Police.

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