Video: Suspect escapes Bangor police cruiser

Dominick Wheeler
Dashcam video shows Dominick Wheeler escaping a Bangor police cruiser on the night of Sept. 9, 2017.

BANGOR, Mich. (WOOD) — After officers arrested Dominick Wheeler at gunpoint, they handcuffed him and put him in the back seat of a patrol car. But when they went back to get him, he was gone.

Dashcam video recorded late Sept. 9 shows a Van Buren County sheriff’s deputy arriving at the MS Laundromat on Monroe Street in Bangor. The laundromat’s owner had been watching video surveillance and called 911 to say someone had broken into the building, stole cash and started a fire.

MS Laundromat, Bangor
The damaged MS Laundromat in Bangor. (Oct. 3, 2017)

It wasn’t long before the deputy and another officer spotted Wheeler inside the laundromat. Dashcam video captured the officers ordering Wheeler to the ground.

“Get your hands in the air!” one officer shouted.

“Get on the ground, now,” the other yelled. “There’s a gun pointed at you! Get on your stomach and lay down!”

Eventually, Wheeler followed the officers’ orders and they arrested him.

Dominick Wheeler
An undated photo of 21-year-old Dominick Wheeler. (Bangor Police Department)

According to police reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, a deputy cuffed Wheeler’s hands behind his back. Officers then put Wheeler into the back seat of a Bangor police cruiser. The officer sitting in the front seat eventually got out of the car.

That’s when Wheeler made his escape. As a deputy sat in his cruiser and spoke with a sergeant about what happened, Wheeler somehow got out of the other Bangor police car, ran in front of a passing vehicle and across the street.

Officers later discovered Wheeler repositioned the handcuffs to the front of his body. He then squeezed through the Plexiglas partition separating the front and rear seats. After that, he was gone.

Wheeler, 21, was finally arrested a couple of days later.

The laundromat sustained extensive damage in the fire. It was still blocked off with yellow tape Tuesday.