Name released of man charged in deputy assault, sheriff’s vehicle theft

CALDWELL COUNTY, KY – We now have more information about the man accused of stealing and crashing first a passenger car and then a McCracken County Sheriff’s Department patrol car —as well as assaulting the deputy.

Kentucky State Police say 34-year-old James Booker of Paducah was an inmate at Keeton Correctional Institute and walked off Thursday. Troopers say he later stole a Chevrolet Cobalt in Paducah and drove along I-24 east before crashing the car in Marshall County. When a McCracken County sheriff’s deputy who witnessed the crash stopped to help him, Booker assaulted the deputy and stole his patrol car. He drove the car onto I-69 and into Caldwell County before crashing again near Princeton.

Troopers have released more information Thursday night about what happened between the two crashes.

KSP says shortly after Booker stole the deputy’s cruiser, a KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer spotted it eastbound on I-24 and began a pursuit. The chase continued onto I-69 and into Caldwell County, and Booker crashed the car near the 75 mile marker. He was taken to Caldwell County Hospital for medical evaluation, released from the hospital, arrested and jailed in the Christian County Jail.

He now faces charges in Marshall and Caldwell counties. KSP says the Paducah Police Department is investigating the theft of the Cobalt.

In Marshall County, Booker is charged with first degree robbery, receiving stolen property of $10,000 or more, first degree criminal mischief, first degree fleeing or evading police in a motor vehicle, third degree assault on a police officer, reckless driving, first degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, second degree wanton endangerment, driving on a DUI suspended license on the second offense, and being a fugitive from another state.

In Caldwell County, Booker is charged with first degree fleeing or evading police in a motor vehicle, four counts of first degree wanton endangerment, first degree criminal mischief, speeding, reckless driving, and operating on a suspended license.

Through the Kentucky Online Offender Lookup, we learned Booker was convicted of four additional felonies this year in Henry and Carroll counties in Kentucky. He was convicted of fleeing or evading police in August and again in September.

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