'It is embarrassing': New body camera video shows stolen patrol cars hot pursuit
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A wild police chase had cars racing over 100 miles per hour to catch a man who stole not one, but two police vehicles.
New body camera video from Volusia County shows Thursday's chaos from an officer's point of view.
The suspect, Xavier Cummings, had his first court appearance on Friday where he broke down in front of the judge. Police say he apparently got into the cars because the doors were unlocked.
"Sometimes the best-laid plans of mice and men tend to go awry," said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
Chitwood says police protocol requires locking the car when they aren’t inside, but in this case, he says there were too many variables and too little time.
"We go to a dynamic situation, and you are jumping out of the car. You don’t have the time to turn your engine off, take your keys and lock your doors and activate your alarms. You are moving," Sheriff Chitwood said.
We took the concern straight to the Cocoa Police Department where the protocol was clearly not followed. The department has not yet responded.
Chitwood says he can’t speak for that police department, but says his team is looking at what they could have done differently.
"Obviously, there are things that we, in the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, are looking at for what we could have done better. I’m sure the Cocoa Police Department is doing the same exact thing because you don’t want to be embarrassed and it is. It is embarrassing, you had two police cars stolen," Chitwood said.
Retired law enforcement officer Dave Benson says he worked in the field for over 23 years. He says two things could have gone wrong: Training or technology.
"This situation could have been much worse. They could have been killed. It sounds like there was a breach in protocol. The fact that it happened twice is clearly a systemic problem that could have been much worse than it was," Benson said.