Caught on video: Suspect steals box truck, rams cruisers and leads police on chase

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WOOSTER, Ohio-- Police cruisers rammed. Weapons drawn. A huge box truck stolen. A man led police on a pursuit in Wayne County that was captured by both bystanders and body cameras.

Late Thursday morning, a man being chased by police jumps into a large moving van, taking Wayne County Sheriff's deputies on a wild and dangerous ride.

Shawn Rodgers and Freshon Gathright stopped at the Circle K at Portage and Akron roads in Wooster after they picked up clothing donations from a local church.

"I heard a crash so I turned around... I had saw the police chasing the guy at first. But when I heard the crash, I said, 'You know what, let me tape this,'" Rodgers said.

Captain Doug Hunter said the chase was sparked by an earlier confrontation at a fast food restaurant and a private home.

"He was armed with a knife actually outside of the house, had a knife, asking the deputy to shoot him," Hunter said.

That's when deputies said the man led them on a chase to a Bellstores parking lot, where he rammed a cruiser and went across the street to the Circle K.

"It was an off-duty sheriff there who reached for his shotgun. I'm figuring they're about to start shooting so he rams the police cars," Rodgers said.

The suspect eventually jumped into the yellow box truck Rodgers was driving and took off.

"The guy rams the truck. He gets out his truck, into our truck. And at that time, I'm already behind the gas station, trying to get out the way cause it's guns drawn. About 15 to 20 police officers," said Gathright, a passenger in the box truck.

Body cam video shows Wayne County Sheriff's deputies pursuing the vehicle out of Wooster. The driver loses control and crashes into a ditch near Smithville.

"The man exited and climbed onto the very top of the vehicle. And was shouting obscenities. Was actually making no sense at all as far as what he had to say, just rambling... He many times made references to wanting to speak to President Trump," Hunter said.

Deputies arrested the driver, who they identified as Chad Palmer. They say he posted a rambling Facebook live video before the incident.

Palmer is being held in the Wayne County Jail.  He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday morning.

One deputy suffered minor injuries when his cruiser was rammed.

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