PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18)– A man died in the hospital after fleeing from police during a theft investigation.
Kentucky State Police says that just after 6 a.m. Thursday, they received a call about a theft from a vehicle. They say that while an employee was working at Appalachian Tobacco, someone broke into their vehicle and stole a purse.
When the trooper arrived at the store, he viewed security footage and was able to identify the person who broke into the vehicle as Justin M. Hatfield from Delbarton, West Virginia. KSP says that the trooper made contact with Hatfield at his residence and while questioning him, the trooper discovered evidence indicating that Hatfield had taken the purse.
During the arrest, KSP says that Hatfield assaulted the trooper and then ran over a bank and jumped into the river.
It was unknown at the time if Hatfield had made it across the river so emergency crews were called to assist in the search.
Hatfield was located on the West Virginia side of the river on the railroad track and was transported to an area hospital for treatment of exposure to the elements. Hatfield died at 2:40 p.m. in the hospital.
An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
This investigation is ongoing.