DUI suspect steals, wrecks State Patrol cruiser

A middle Georgia man arrested for DUI during a Baldwin County domestic dispute allegedly stole a Georgia State Patrol cruiser, then crashed the car into a tree.

The Macon Telegraph reported that Michael Wayne Tharpe, 21, of Milledgeville, was charged with theft by taking and criminal interference with government property.

Tom Davis, special agent in charge of the GBI's Milledgeville office, told the Telegraph that Tharpe was at the scene as Baldwin County sheriff's deputies investigated a domestic dispute on Sparta Highway Saturday night.

A State Patrol trooper, who was assisting the deputies, charged Tharpe with DUI when he tried to drive away.

The trooper put Tharpe in the back of his patrol vehicle, but Tharpe managed to get into the driver's seat and flee in the late-model Dodge Charger after the trooper left the vehicle to assist the deputies, Davis told the Telegraph.

The trooper's car was later found on fire in a wooded area.