By Shereen Siewert
A 29-year-old man who was cuffed and seated in the back of a Rothschild Police squad car before stealing the vehicle was sentenced Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court for his crimes.
Police say Jonathon Bishop drove off in the squad car after squeezing through a one-foot barrier between the front and back seats.
Bishop was already wanted by police on drug charges when he allegedly broke into a home in the 600 block of Lawrence Avenue in April.
An investigation began after residents called police at to report a suspected break-in. When police arrived, they found a vehicle stolen from Wausau earlier in the day parked on the sidewalk with the engine running with no one inside. After spotting an open garage door, officers went to the home, evacuated the residents and went inside to check for a suspect.
Bishop, who was hiding in a bathroom, surrendered with his hands up. But while he was waiting to be transferred to jail and officers were interviewing witnesses, Bishop allegedly took off in the squad car.
Police say Bishop dumped the vehicle at a home on Southridge Drive and fled on foot, but was found with assistance from K-9 officers and taken into custody again.
During a hearing Monday, Bishop was convicted of escape, taking and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent and fleeing an officer.
Circuit Judge Greg Huber sentenced Bishop to a total of five years initial confinement in prison, followed by three years of extended supervision.
Restitution was also ordered. Bishop has been ordered to pay $4,300 plus a restitution surcharge, according to court documents.