Troy police officer cuts I-75 pursuit when suspect throws paint can at cruiser

A Troy police officer was startled, but not injured, Monday night when a driver he was pursuing on I-75 South at more than 100 mph threw a can of paint that exploded and covered the cruiser’s windshield with white paint.

>> Vandalia police cruiser totaled in collision

“I was a little scared when I wasn’t able to see at 107 mph,” Officer Mike Steffano told “The can bounced a few times [on the interstate] and exploded.”

The suspect got away. The police cruiser was taken to the repair shop.

Steffano said he was on routine patrol about 8:19 p.m. when he noticed a small hatchback, parked with no headlights on, in the parking lot of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Dayton Troy, 83 Troy Town Drive.

“As soon as I came around the corner, he took off at a high rate of speed,” the officer said, and continued from the lot onto I-75 South — still with no headlights. Steffano said he began pursuing the car, which reached speeds of 117 mph before it briefly exited and then re-entered the interstate.

The driver tossed several items from the car — including articles of clothing — before launching the paint can just before the first Vandalia exit off the interstate.

Steffano said tape covered the rear license tag, but he could see the numbers and not the state.

The officer said he was able to slow down and get off the interstate without crashing.

“We’ve got a couple of leads we’re going on,” Steffano said.

Back at the hotel parking lot, Steffano said police found trash the driver apparently left where the car had been parked. Among the trash found was a cellphone bill.

“I don’t know if it belongs to him, but we’re going to find out,” Steffano said.

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