LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man accused of stealing a police cruiser from the Louisville Metro Police Department and taking it for a joyride, appeared before a judge on Wednesday.

Brandon Hinton was arrested Tuesday afternoon after police say he jumped in an empty -- but running -- police cruiser and took off in broad daylight, leading police on a 10-mile chase.

Police arrested Hinton and booked him into Louisville Metro Corrections. 

James Lay says he witnessed the event.

"It took a daggone idiot to steal a police car in front of a house," he said. "And there were people sitting out here, too!"

Police say they were investigating an issue around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on Donerail Way, off Dixie Highway. While investigating, an officer stepped out of his cruiser, leaving the engine running. That's when police say Hinton jumped in and took off.

Police chased him to Grade Lane near UPS before he jumped out and tried to climb a fence near the airport tarmac.

Officers arrested Hinton. He's now facings charges including auto theft, wanton endangerment and fleeing from police. He was already facing charges of possession of marijuana, tampering with physical evidence and promotion of contraband from a second, unrelated case. 

"The bond is currently set at $50,000, full cash," said Jefferson County District Judge Amber Wolf. "That's going to remain in effect."

Judge Wolf called Hinton a flight risk and a danger. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf and he's scheduled to be back in court next week.

LMPD has been reminding people for weeks to not leave their keys in their cars and to lock doors. After the cruiser was stolen, the department replied to a comment on its Facebook page, saying the reminder applies to them as well.


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