Suspect escapes custody through hole in police department bathroom ceiling
A suspected Florida shoplifter who was arrested Sunday allegedly managed to escape police custody by crawling through a hole in a bathroom ceiling.
Orange City Police arrived to a Volusia County Kohl's store Sunday, where Michael Caruso, 31, is accused of attempting to steal a vacuum cleaner and speaker worth a combined $529.
When he saw police, Caruso allegedly bolted, at which point an officer pursued him in his cruiser. However, things reportedly took a turn when the officer jumped out of the car to arrest Caruso and forgot to put on the parking break.
The car careened toward the officer and the suspect as the officer attempted to make the arrest, according to Orange City PD.
As the suspect got out of the way, the officer tried to stop the car. According to a police report, Caruso then attempted to pretend that his leg had been run over by the vehicle.
Ignoring his claims he was injured, the officer arrested Caruso and took him in for processing. But the strange arrest didn't end there, according to the police report.
While in custody, cops say Caruso said "he had to defecate" and was escorted out of a cell and into a single-stall restroom.
"After waiting outside the door for a few minutes, I told [Caruso] he needed to hurry up," an officer wrote in a statement. "He replied he was about to wipe and wash his hands."
Caruso reportedly asked for two more minutes to finish up. But when those two minutes were up, cops say they banged on the door and demanded Caruso open it but got no reply.
"We opened the door and discovered [Caruso] created a hole in the bathroom ceiling by destroying the sheet rock," the police report reads.
Once in the station's attic, cops believe Caruso removed an attic fan then fled on foot.
While police set up a perimeter, a call came in to police from an area resident who said a man was in the garage and asking for a ride "because he just escaped from Orange City Police," according to the arrest report.
The resident said he retrieved a firearm and ordered Caruso to the ground, at which point the suspect fled once again.
While fleeing, Caruso is accused attempting to break into another home before being locked out by the occupant.
As cops say he fled once again, Caruso was finally apprehended with the help of a police K-9.
When asked why he allegedly committed the crimes, cops say Caruso told them he has a drug problem and "does stupid things when he is high."
Caruso has since been charged with 15 crimes related to multiple Kohl's thefts, burglaries, resisting arrest and escaping police custody, among others, according to police records online.
Caruso remained in custody Tuesday.