Man steals Middletown police cruiser and rams another before being arrested. Both cruisers heavily damaged.

Middletown man charged in ‘ambush’ attack on police officers pleads insanity

Jason Cooper entered a not guilty by reason of insanity plea in May in Butler County Common Common Pleas Court, where Judge Charles Pater ordered a forensic psychological evaluation. He is scheduled to be back in court July 9 for a hearing about the evaluation findings.

MORE: Middletown ‘ambush’ attack on officer comes at a steep cost: 2 totaled cruisers, new anti-theft devices

Jason Cooper, 49, was indicted in March by a county grand jury on two counts of felonious assault, aggravated robbery, grand theft, two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of vandalism and possessing criminal tools. His bond was set at $250,000, and he remains housed in the Butler County Jail.

MORE: 911 caller before Middletown police cruiser theft: My boyfriend is ‘extremely drunk’

During Cooper’s arraignment, prosecutors asked for a substantial bond and said the alleged crimes were part of a planned event.

On Feb. 28, Cooper’s girlfriend called 911 claiming he was “extremely drunk,” slamming doors, yelling and cursing. When officer Patrick Glassburn arrived to the 100 block of Bavarian Street, the 911 caller stood on the second-floor balcony and told the officer her boyfriend was hiding in the bushes outside the apartment.

Jason Cooper BUTLER COUNTY JAIL
Photo: Staff Writer

As Cooper hid, he listened to the police scanner on his cell phone, and Middletown police Chief Rodney Muterspaw believes Cooper was going to “ambush” the officer. Cooper allegedly came out from behind the bushes and displayed a knife to the officer. Glassburn told Cooper to drop what he was carrying, and when he refused, he was shocked by Glassburn’s Taser, which was ineffective.

MORE: Police: Suspect scanning police scanner prior to stealing Middletown cruiser, ramming another

Cooper then got into the cruiser and crashed into a cruiser driven by Officer Ryan Morgan, who was responding to the disturbance call.

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