After hitting one car, driver fled and struck another — a police cruiser — CMPD says

·2 min read

A driver who struck two vehicles, including a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police cruiser, and fled twice on Monday morning has been arrested and charged.

Police, in a news release Tuesday, say the chain of events started shortly before 7:10 a.m., when a Hyundai Santa Fe, driven by Joseph Spangler, rear-ended another vehicle on Independence Boulevard near Sharon Forest Drive. Following the crash, Spangler drove off, and the other driver involved called 911 to report the incident, police said.

Moments later, Spangler ran a red light at the intersection of Monroe Road and Village Lake Drive, police said. His SUV hit a marked CMPD vehicle that was driving through the intersection, police said. The collision flipped the police vehicle onto its roof. Spangler ran away from the scene on foot, police said. Other officers and a canine unit searched for Spangler.

Spangler, 28, had been driving on the wrong side of the road and cutting vehicles off prior to running the red light and striking the CMPD vehicle, police said.

A 911 caller told police about someone who appeared injured walking out of a nearby wood line. Officers responded then found Spangler at a home on Dunfries Road in Matthews. Spangler, who had minor injuries from the crash, was taken to the a hospital for treatment then released, police said.

Public records show Spangler previously lived on Dunfries.

He is now at Mecklenburg County Jail and charged with felony hit-and-run, misdemeanor hit-and-run, reckless driving and driving with a revoked license.

The police officer in the cruiser suffered non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash, police said.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or has information about this case can call Detective Storc at 704-336-2897, or leave an anonymous tip by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or

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