Lincoln man accused of stealing 3 cars, hitting fire truck & police cruiser

(Lincoln, NE) -- A Lincoln man is behind bars, accused of a number of charges, including hitting a Lincoln Fire Department truck with a stolen vehicle.

The Lincoln Police Department says around 3:15 Wednesday afternoon, officers were called to the 1300 block of Silver Ridge Road for a report of a stolen vehicle. Police say a 79 year old victim told officers that he noticed a Dodge Dakota stuck in a snow drift by his house, so he offered to help dig the vehicle out. Investigators say the disabled vehicle was driven by 27 year old Hieu Nguyen and that as the victim began digging the truck out, Nguyen jumped out of the truck and entered the victim’s vehicle, a Volkswagen Jetta. LPD says the victim ran back to his vehicle and tried to grab the steering wheel, but Nguyen accelerated away, dragging the victim, causing pain and discomfort.

Around 3:30 Wednesday afternoon, LPD says officers determined that the Dodge Dakota, left at the first scene by Nguyen, had been stolen from the 6800 block of A Street just before 3:00 earlier that afternoon. Police say the 58 year old truck owner did not yet know his vehicle was stolen.

Just before 9:00 Wednesday night, investigators say officers were called to a crash at North 84th Street and Adams Street. Once on the scene, officers learned that a vehicle, driven by Nguyen, had been eastbound on Adams Street when he violated the red traffic light and hit two other vehicles. Police say the crash severely damaged all three vehicles and sent two people to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

LPD says officers spoke with an 18 year old victim, who was not involved in the collision, that told them that he’d come upon the crash scene and exited his vehicle to help the crash victims. Police say Nguyen then got into the 18 year old’s vehicle and left the scene of the crash, making it the third vehicle he stole that day.

Investigators say around 9:00, Nguyen returned to the scene of the crash, in the vehicle he had just stolen, and drove into the back of an LFR fire engine. Police say Nguyen continued through the crash scene, and as officers attempted to pull him over, he refused to stop. LPD says officers pursued Nguyen, but terminated the pursuit out of regard for public safety.

Then at 9:30, LPD says officers located Nguyen, in the stolen vehicle, and again attempted to stop the vehicle at South 25th Street and M Street. Investigators say Nguyen stopped, but when officers approached the vehicle, he accelerated away from the scene and intentionally slammed his vehicle head-on into a marked police cruiser, causing neck and back pain to the officer and disabling both vehicles. Police say Nguyen disobeyed commands from police officers and continued to start his vehicle to try to flee the scene. Investigators say eventually, officers were forced to break out the rear window of the vehicle and deploy a Taser.

LPD says Nguyen continued to fight with officers, who had physically removed him from the vehicle. Officers transported Nguyen to a local area hospital for evaluation and treatment. He sustained minor facial injuries during the crash at North 84th Street and Adams Street. Police say while in custody, Nguyen attempted to spit blood on officers, LFR personnel and hospital staff.

Nguyen was eventually booked on a total of 7 felonies and 2 misdemeanors:

  • Theft by Unlawful Taking (2 counts) (F)
  • Robbery (F)
  • Leave Scene of Injury Accident (F)
  • Operate Motor Vehicle to Avoid Arrest (F)
  • Resisting Arrest (subsequent offense) (F)
  • 2nd Degree Assault on an Officer (F)
  • Willful Reckless Driving (M)
  • Flee in Motor Vehicle to Avoid Arrest (M)
  • Violated Traffic Control Device (F)

(Photo by the Lincoln Police Department)

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