Donald Morgan arraigned on several charges after police vehicle theft
By: Chloe Leshner
SCITUATE, R.I. (WLNE) – New details have been revealed following the arrest and capture of Donald Morgan. The man accused of stealing a state police cruiser, which led to a state-wide manhunt, has been arraigned on a slew of charges today. And now 2 Cumberland residents are in trouble for supposedly hiding him.
Police say 35 year old Donald Morgan was found at 52 Vermont Avenue in Cumberland Friday evening.
"This Fugitive Task Force did good work in finding him as quickly as possible," says Colonel Ann Assumpico.
Before leading police on a nearly 2 day search, Morgan was arrested for stealing a car. His face beaten up after crashing that car Wednesday night. The following morning a state police officer was transporting him to court when that trooper pulled over to check on an accident on Route 146, leaving Morgan in the back seat, his hands cuffed in front.
"When someone is injured, and this person was injured, it's at the discretion of the trooper how he or she wants to cuff them," says Assumpico.
Like the majority of state police vehicles, the car he was in didn't have a barrier and the trooper left the keys inside so the emergency lights would stay on. The Colonel says that's when Morgan took off and that the trooper followed the proper protocol and is not on any sort of leave.
The cruiser was found in South Providence about 15 minutes later, Morgan no where to be found. Detectives credit tips from the public in helping locate him in Cumberland Friday evening. Morgan resisting arrest.
"A taser was used and there was a physical altercation the extent of it is still under investigation but he was cleared at the hospital with no glaring injuries other than the ones from when he stole the car the first night," says Major Dennis Fleming.
Daniel Medeiros, 54, and Rachael Read, 52, friends of Morgan living at the Vermont Avenue home where he was found, will also face charges of harboring a criminal.
Any link between Morgan and Joseph Santos, the man killed in the officer-involved shooting Thursday, remains unclear. Both State Troopers and Providence Police fired nearly 40 shots into the white pickup truck that Santos was traveling in, killing Santos and wounding Christine Demers, Santos' passenger.
Police previously stated that they began following Santos for driving erratically Thursday morning, in a car matching the description of a vehicle linked to Morgan. Santos attempted to elude police and led officers on a chase, finally attempting to ram his way out of a blockade, where he was shot and killed by law enforcement officers.
Donald Morgan, 35, of Providence, faces the following charges:
Escape from custody
Possession of a stolen motor vehicle
Obstructing an officer in execution of duty
Larceny of a motor vehicle
Daniel Medeiros, 54, and Rachael Read, 52, both of Cumberland, face the following charges.