9/10/20 Hamilton, Il – Traffic Stop – Felony Warrant – Man In Squad Car in Handcuffs Climbs In Front – Deputy Injured Falling To The Pavement – Hancock County Squad Car Stolen And Crashed Into Parked Car – Suspect Escaped

September 10 , 2020


Police are looking for a slippery 18-year-old who stole and wrecked a squad car before dashing away.

About 11 p.m. Wednesday, a Hancock County sheriff’s deputy made a traffic stop in Hamilton, about 90 miles southwest of Peoria along the Mississippi River. The driver, Ethan Walte, was found to be wanted on a felony warrant in Iowa for violation of probation for burglary, said Sheriff Scott Bentzinger.

Walte was handcuffed behind his back and placed in the back of the deputy’s squad car. While the deputy was securing Walte’s vehicle, Walte was able to get his handcuffed hands in front of his body and climb through the security partition in the squad car, the sheriff said.

As Walte began to drive off, the deputy attempted to get Walte out of the driver’s seat, the sheriff said. But Walte punched the gas, flinging the deputy to the pavement. The deputy suffered only minor injuries, the sheriff said.

Walte sped across the bridge from Hamilton to Keokuk, Iowa, the sheriff said. In Keokuk, he crashed into a parked car, then fled the scene on foot. Both vehicles sustained moderate damage, the sheriff said.

Walte remains at large. He is described as white, 5 feet 6 inches tall, and 135 pounds. He is wanted on “numerous criminal charges,” the sheriff said.

“Members of the public are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement with any information regarding Walte’s whereabouts,” the sheriff said.