Lexington Officers Under Investigation After Juveniles Takes Cruiser

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) -- It was a bizarre scene on Interstate 64 as police chased a stolen Lexington police cruiser Friday.

Lexington Police say the chase started around 5 a.m. when Louisville Police contacted them to ask why they had a cruiser in the area. That cruiser belonged to Lexington Police Officer Earl Rayford.

The stolen vehicle was first spotted in Louisville earlier Friday morning and Louisville Police attempted to make a stop, but say the driver refused to yield.

State Police began pursuit of the vehicle and chased it through Shelby County and parts of Franklin County. Police tell us the cruiser was weaving in and out of traffic at speeds exceeding 100 mph during the chase.

State Police were able to lay down spikes around exit 53 and stopped the vehicle shortly after 6 a.m.

Police tell us two other vehicles also had tires damaged from the spikes but no one was injured.

Police have taken the driver, a male juvenile, and two female juveniles who were riding in the car, into custody.

"This situation certainly is very concerning to us. A very serious matter. We realize that we have a duty and responsibility to protect urban county government property and especially police cruisers," explained Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin.

The driver, who state police did take into custody, is a juvenile that lives with Officer Rayford and his wife, Safety Officer Connie Rayford. Both are no longer allowed to drive their government-issued vehicles home. Chief Bastin says they are conducting an internal investigation. He also says the juvenile has taken the cruiser in the past.

"We were given reasonable assurances from the Rayfords that they'd taken appropriate steps to insure that this wouldn't happen again. That the vehicle wouldn't be available. Obviously, there's been a breach in assurances," noted Chief Bastin.


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