Fayette County

Off-duty officer spots suspect in stolen red Beetle in Lexington. Run-in causes campus crash.

The police car pursuit ended after the suspect ran a red light and hit a SUV, police said.
The police car pursuit ended after the suspect ran a red light and hit a SUV, police said. WKYT

Officers searched for a suspect last seen fleeing on foot Tuesday near the University of Kentucky campus after an early-morning police pursuit ended in an injury accident.

An off-duty Georgetown police officer was driving in Lexington Tuesday morning when he recognized a Georgetown robbery suspect driving a stolen vehicle in downtown Lexington, the Georgetown police Facebook page said.

The officer tailed the vehicle and notified Lexington police, said Robert Swanigan, the Georgetown assistant police chief. According to WKYT, the stolen vehicle was a red Volkswagen Beetle.

The Beetle drove down a dead-end street on UK’s campus and stopped. Because of a multidepartment jurisdiction agreement between UK and some police departments, the Georgetown officer had jurisdiction on UK’s campus, Swanigan said.

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The suspect as seen in surveillance footage. Georgetown Police Department

The officer initiated a traffic stop, but the suspect threw his car into reverse, rammed the officer’s cruiser and escaped the street, Swanigan said. The suspect drove two blocks, ran a red light and crashed into an SUV at the intersection of South Limestone and Virginia Avenue.

According to WKYT, the Herald-Leader’s reporting partner, the driver of the SUV and two passengers inside the Beetle had to be taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The driver of the Beetle fled on foot. He is wanted, by Georgetown Police, in connection to a Liquor Mart robbery.

Swanigan said Lexington and UK Police continue to search for him. The suspect is bald. He was wearing a black tank top and dark pants, LEX18 reported.

Georgetown police posted a video on Facebook hoping someone would identify a suspect in a Liquor Mart robbery. That suspect prompted a chase in Lexington Tuesday that ended with a crash on the University of Kentucky campus.