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Father of Henrietta car chase suspect: "he was acting as if he was running from somebody"

Posted at: 11/15/2012 5:08 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

The young man who lead sheriff's deputies on a chase through Henrietta was supposed to be admitted into Strong Hospital's "psych unit" the day before deputies say he went on a crime spree.

That's what his father said in a statement filed in Henrietta Court today.

Stephon Wolde-Tinsaye is now at the hospital's psychiatric unit. He is charged with two counts of assault. He won't be arraigned until he released from the hospital.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says Stephon Wolde-Tinsaye stole a shuttle bus, tried to rob a woman at a convenience store and then ultimately stole his father's car, clipped a sheriff's deputy with one of the car doors and then lead more than a dozen deputies on a chase that ended in a crash near Marketplace Mall.

Here is what the man described as Stephon Wolde-Tinsaye's father, Getachew Wolde-Tinsaye, wrote in his statement to investigators:

"I told Stephon he could not live with me anymore because he was causing me to fear for my safety."

He says they got to the hospital at 11 o'clock Monday morning and stayed most of the day.

"At 5pm, the hospital told us that Stephon was going to be admitted to the 'psych unit.' Stephon asked if he could get a drink of water. Stephon walked away and left the hospital without being admitted. Later that evening, I received a phone call from Stephon. He told me he was at the hospital. I told him 'alright' and went back to sleep.
Today (Tuesday 11/13) at 8:30am, I was asleep in my bed when Stephon came into my room. Stephon threatened me and demanded the keys to my car. Stephon took my car keys and walked down the hallway. Stephon does not have keys to my home. I found Stephon had broken in my house by climbing through a garage window and breaking the door, then (leapt) from the garage to the kitchen and inside my house.
Stephon was acting as if he was running from somebody. As I was calling 911 I saw a sheriff's deputy pull up at my house. Stephon was in the driver's seat of my car. I was standing on the stoop. I told the deputy that  was stealing my car. The deputy opened the passenger door of my car and told Stephon to get out of the car. Stephon put the car in reverse and began driving backward while the deputy was between the car body and the open door. As Stephon was backing up the car door struck the deputy and knocked her to the ground. The deputy continued to tell Stephon to stop but he continued down the driveway and drove away
."

According to the court papers, the deputy hit by the car, Deputy Deborah Feehan, suffered cuts, bruises and "substantial pain to her upper left leg."