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Man tries to steal car by jumping through driver’s open window

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at 12:11 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at 9:09 p.m.

A 26-year-old man was hospitalized for evaluation Monday night after he tried to steal a car by jumping through the open driver’s window of a car stopped at an intersection, Wichita police said.

A 22-year-old woman was stopped at 11th and Volutsia at about 8:40 p.m. when the man jumped head-first through the window, Capt. Doug Nolte said. Startled, the woman accelerated to try to dislodge her intruder, but the man grabbed the steering wheel to try to get control of the car.

The tussle over the steering wheel caused the car to strike a curb and then crash into a house at 1228 N. Volutsia — southwest of 13th and Hillside. Both the driver and her 2-year-old daughter were injured in the crash, Nolte said.

The suspect fled the scene before officers could arrive, Nolte said, and tried to take car keys from a 65-year-old woman in the 1200 block of North Hillside. He then forced his way into a house there before being pushed outside.

That’s where officers found him, Nolte said. He was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment of a serious cut on his arm and then admitted to the hospital for observation.

Before trying to steal the car from the woman at 11th and Volutsia, the man had stolen an unattended car left running at 1116 E. Bayley and broken out a back window of a house in the 1100 block of North Grove, police documents show.

While Nolte did not know if the suspect was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crime spree, the bizarre behavior “certainly suggests something was afoot,” he said.

The driver hurt when her car crashed into the house on Volutsia underwent surgery for a severe cut on her foot. Her daughter, who was in a car seat in the back, struck her head in the crash and developed a knot on her forehead.

The suspect will be booked into jail upon his release from the hospital, Nolte said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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