Suspect caught after stealing police cruiser, attacking officer

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An initial report of a traffic accident led to an attacked police office and a stolen cruiser last Thursday night.

At about 9 p.m. Thursday evening, Switzerland County Sheriff’s deputy Jay Thomas responded to the Markland Shell gas station near the Markland Dam to investigate a report of a vehicle that had left the scene of an accident that had occurred on the Markland Dam bridge.

According to the Probable Cause Affidavit filed in Switzerland County Superior Court, Deputy Thomas encountered a suspect, later identified as Michael W. Bailey, 36, of Louisville, Kentucky, at the gas station. After running the normal background checks, Deputy Thomas discovered that Michael Bailey that he had outstanding warrants in Kentucky.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Michael Bailey yelled “I am not going back to jail”, and when Deputy Thomas tried to take Michael Bailey into custody, the suspect fled the scene on foot, with the deputy chasing him.

At some point during the foot chase, Michael Bailey got into Deputy Thomas’ county police cruiser, and yelled at the deputy, “I’ll shoot you! I’ll shoot you!”

Standing at the back of the cruiser, Deputy Thomas noted in the probable cause affidavit that he observed the cruiser’s brake lights come on and the engine rev higher. At that point the deputy saw the vehicle’s reverse lights come on; and he got out of the way as the cruiser moved backward in an attempt to hit the officer.

Deputy Thomas saw the cruiser move backwards and then go around the back side of the Markland Shell, emerging on the east side of the building and coming directly towards Deputy Thomas. According to a news release from the Indiana State Police, Deputy Thomas responded to Switzerland County Dispatch that he had fired shots at the vehicle in an attempt to stop the suspect.

The suspect then left the scene in the police cruiser at approximately 10 p.m., and headed east on State Road 156 toward Belterra Casino Resort and Spa. A manhunt ensued, which included officers from numerous police agencies, K-9 dogs from the Indiana State Police, the Aurora Police Department, and the Lawrenceburg Police Department; and a helicopter from the Hamilton County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Department.

The hunt located the police cruiser abandoned approximately 1/2-mile from Belterra, and for the safety of all of the guests, the complex was “locked down” for approximately one hour.

The manhunt was called off at approximately 1:45 a.m. Friday morning; but at about 3:30 a.m., Switzerland County Dispatch received a call of a subject walking along State Road 156 near Patriot. The subject fit the description of the suspect, so officers went to the scene, where Indiana State Police troopers Mike Caplinger and Noel Kinney quickly apprehended Michael Bailey.

After being held in the Switzerland County Detention Center, Michael Bailey appeared in Switzerland County Superior Court in front of Judge John Mitchell on Monday, where he was officially charged with two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter; one count of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon; auto theft; criminal recklessness; resisting law enforcement by vehicle; resisting law enforcement by fleeing; intimidation; and false reporting or informing.

He is being held in the Switzerland County Detention Center.

The Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department is leading the continuing investigation; and were assisted by the Indiana State Police, the Kentucky State Police, Vevay Town Police, Aurora Town Police, Lawrenceburg Town Police, the Hamilton County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Department, and the Gallatin County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Department.

Anyone having any information on this matter should contact the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department at 427-3636.