Posted at: 11/13/2012 11:10 AM
Updated at: 11/13/2012 5:58 PM
By: Berkeley Brean
There was a wild series of events in Monroe County today involving a young man accused of hitting a sheriff's deputy with a car. But his story started long before the police chase and includes the theft of a hotel shuttle bus.
Stephon Wolde-Tinsaye is at Strong hospital tonight. He led more than a dozen deputies on a pursuit that ended with a crash near Marketplace Mall.
The chase ended at Jefferson Road and Hylan Road, one of the corners of the mall. Witnesses say Wolde-Tinsaye crashed his car into at least two other cars. Moments before, the pursuit lead deputies past RIT where the suspect hit another car and ran the light.
But the sheriff's office says Wolde-Tinsaye's day started much earlier.
In the early morning, they say he stole the shuttle bus from the Best Western on Jefferson road. The general manager says the bus was sitting under the car port at the front door. He says he still doesn't know where the bus is.
After that -- the sheriff's office says Wolde-Tinsaye tried to rob a woman at the Wilson Farms store at Erie Station Road and River Road.
"He's a regular customer. We've always had problems with him. He's not very nice," store clerk Shawna Day told us.
The sheriff's office says the attempted robbery happened in the parking lot outside the store.
"I think he must have been on something because he wasn't wearing a shirt and it's cold out and he tried to take the keys out of her hands," Day said. "It's crazy. I don't think he was right."
That may be true.
News10NBC talked to the man who described himself as Wolde-Tinsaye's adoptive father. He told us Wolde-Tinsaye was badly hurt in a car crash a couple of years ago and has been struggling with anxiety and emotional issues since then.
In fact, his adoptive father says he was in the hospital Monday night but left without being discharged and then the sheriff's office says the events of today happened.
The sheriff says one of his deputies was hit by the car Wolde-Tinsaye was driving. The story, according to Wolde-Tinsaye's adoptive father, was that Wolde-Tinsaye was trying to take his adoptive father's car without permission. The adoptive father called 911.
The adoptive father tells me the deputy had the passenger door open trying to get Wolde-Tinsaye to stop but he continued to back up and she was clipped by the door. The sheriff's says she hit the ground but wasn't hurt that badly.
She is out of the hospital tonight.
Wolde-Tinsaye is charged with assault and attempted robbery.