Man ditches vehicle in police chase, later reports it stolen

Photo courtesy of KNWA

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A man was arrested after ditching his vehicle during a police chase and then later reporting that same vehicle stolen, authorities say.

The Van Buren Police Department said Brandon Copeland, 22, was booked into the Crawford County Detention Center on suspicion of fleeing, felon in possession of a firearm and filing a false police report.

On Thursday night, police were called to the 400 block of South 42nd Street after a vehicle struck a fence.

When an officer got to the crash site, Copeland sped off in his vehicle, authorities said. He drove into an apartment complex and ditched the vehicle, fleeing on foot.

Police said as Copeland was ditching the vehicle, he struck a patrol car and dropped a gun. The suspect escaped because an officer had to stay behind and secure the dropped firearm.

On Friday, Copeland called the Van Buren Police Department to report his vehicle stolen. Officers then went to his location and arrested him. They were able to identify him from video taken of his fleeing Thursday night, police said.