Dashcam footage shows the moment that a joyride in a stolen Ferndale police car ends in a crash July 5.

Dashcam footage shows the moment that a joyride in a stolen Ferndale police car ends in a crash July 5.

Image provided by Ferndale Police Department

Woman takes Ferndale police car for a joyride before crashing it

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 16, 2019


FERNDALE — A woman was arrested by Ferndale police after she allegedly stole a patrol car, took it for a joyride around metro Detroit and crashed it into another vehicle.

Police arrested Destiny Hawkins, 24, July 5 for fleeing and eluding and unlawfully driving away an automobile. She was arraigned the next day, July 6, on the charges in the 43rd District Court.

According to Ferndale Police Sgt. Baron Brown, an officer was called at around 11 a.m. to northbound Woodward Avenue near Nine Mile Road by a man whose cab had taken off with his luggage in the vehicle.

The officer was helping the man and going back and forth between his patrol car when the incident happened.

“A bystander yells to the officer, ‘Hey, she’s getting in your car,’” Brown said. “The officer looks and starts running towards his scout car and ... sees her putting it into gear and taking off.”

Hawkins allegedly took the patrol vehicle and got onto eastbound Interstate 696. She then took southbound I-75 and got off at the Nine Mile exit, police said. Dashcam footage of the ride inside the stolen police car can be viewed at the Ferndale Police Department’s YouTube page.

Brown said police met up with Hawkins at the Nine Mile exit and followed her to Seven Mile Road and Livernois Avenue. It was there where, at a high rate of speed, she crashed the scout car into another vehicle on the road, police said.

The crash disabled the police car, which continued moving until hitting a parked vehicle. Brown said the man in the vehicle that was hit initially complained of minor head and neck pain, but later felt fine and declined to go to the hospital.

“Because of the damage that was to the front of the scout car, she couldn’t open the door, so she was kind of stuck in there,” he said. “Plus, all the airbags deployed. So she couldn’t see anything. She couldn’t get out of the car. She was kind of stuck in there.”

As for why Hawkins allegedly took the car for a ride, she said she “just wanted to have some fun,” Brown said.

“That plus her actions during booking and photographing and when the detectives had to interview her, just all that put together, it seems as though she was living with some sort of mental illness,” he said.

After reviewing body camera and dashcam footage, police said the officer whose vehicle was taken didn’t violate any of the department’s rules or procedures.

“It’s somewhat unreasonable and impractical for us to expect our officers to turn their cars off every single time they stop, especially in a case like this where he was in and out of the scout car two or three — possibly even four — times trying to help this man,” Brown said.

“Even though there’s no evidence that he violated any rules or policies, and in fact didn’t, we still are taking some precautions with technology to not allow anybody that isn’t a Ferndale police officer to be able to get that vehicle out of park,” he continued.

Hawkins’ bond was set at $250,000, no 10%, and she was transferred to the Oakland County Jail. Her attorney, Ray Correll, could not be reached for comment at press time.