Documents: stolen sheriff’s car suspect hit 114 MPH in city

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:45 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - We knew he was going fast. We didn’t know it was this fast.

Court documents made public Tuesday show Donald Hutt hit speeds of 114 miles per hour on Washington Street, as he drove a stolen Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office SUV in a desperate effort to evade police.

Hutt faces a host of charges, starting with robbery and including more than a dozen vehicle and traffic infractions.

Hutt, 45, is being held in the Jefferson County Jail. He appeared in city court Tuesday morning.

As police explained it, Hutt’s crimes started small - but got out of control quickly.

He stole a couple of packs of cigarettes from a store on Factory Street, tried to steal a vehicle across the street from the store, then tried to steal another one on Public Square before he was caught, cuffed, and put in the back of the sheriff’s vehicle.

But while deputies were away from the vehicle, Hutt managed to climb through the handcuffs and scoot into the front seat - and he was off.

According to court records, he hit speeds measured at 106, 109, 111 and 114 miles per hour on Arsenal and Washington streets.

“The speeds that he was at were extraordinary,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Colleen O’Neill Tuesday.

“It was early, it was quiet. I don’t think there was that much traffic, and obviously school’s out. So there would have been a lot more concerns if we were in a different day of the week, time of the day, or day of the year,” O’Neill said.

Police were able to track Hutt’s movements during the pursuit using both GPS and tracking systems in the police cruiser he allegedly stole, technology that O’Neill says helped police bring the pursuit to a safe end.

They were able to track the vehicle, so they didn’t have to chase it, and as important, police were able to conceal what they were doing.

“We were able to turn the radio in that vehicle off, so that the suspect didn’t know what we were doing,” O’Neill said.

Given what happened, the sheriff says her team acted appropriately.

“When everyone needed to be patient, and cautious, and smart, everyone was those three things. I really couldn’t be more proud of the way they handled it.”

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