The side of the police cruiser says “Colorado Springs,” but a little over a week after the accident, the homeowners have an answer as to who will pay for the fence the cruiser crushed.
“The city's now saying no, we're not liable for it because he stole the car,” said homeowner Mark Howland.
Last Tuesday, police say 21-year-old Dustin Guinn was somehow able to get out of handcuffs, open a rear window, crawl into the front of a running police cruiser and end up crashing through the Howland’s fence five minutes later.
In a statement, the city says, “The suspect’s theft and driving of the vehicle was the cause of the damage to the property, not the City of Colorado Springs.” They describe the suspect as an “intervening cause.” Under Colorado law for negligence “An intervening act is an act by a third person that relieves the defendant of liability.”
The City says Howland will have to work with the courts to try and get reimbursed by Guinn. The homeowners aren’t optimistic.
“Trying to get money out of a criminal is next to impossible…might as well try to get water out of a rock,” Howland said. “If we can’t get the city to fess up to it, I will get a lawyer and sue them I guess.”
Howland says his homeowners insurance policy only covers the home, not his property.