HANCEVILLE – Hanceville police officer Jason Hare remains in intensive care at UAB Hospital recovering from injuries he sustained Monday evening while in pursuit of an escaped inmate. On Wednesday, a GoFundMe page was set up to raise funds for Hare and his family.
From GoFundMe: "Officer Hare is currently in the ICU where he will remain for several days. Officer Hare is receiving treatment for a broken scapula, fractures and lacerations on his face, head, and neck, a chip on his C spine, and pain in arms upon movement and touch. He will endure several surgeries over the next few days, but this will only be the beginning. He will have multiple more surgeries in the months to come, and the road to recovery will be long."
The Hanceville Police Department continues to search for Justin McCoy Booth, 23, of St. Clair County in connection with the incident that injured Hare. Booth was in the process of being released from Hanceville, but was to be held for pickup on an outstanding warrant for burglary in St. Clair County. Booth now faces charges for escape.
Hanceville Police Chief Bob Long said shortly after the incident, "He (Booth) actually was released from our facility, but he had a hold with another agency. He's been in our jail for a couple days. He saw the judge this evening and he was being released, but he had a hold with another agency. In the process of moving inmates back and forth from the courtroom into the jail facility and so forth, he was able to basically just bolt and run out the door."
A vehicle pursuit ensued, and Hare was severely injured in a three-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. Highway 31 and Alabama Highway 91. Alabama State Troopers said Hare was not wearing a seat belt.
The two other vehicles involved in the crash were a 2009 Freightliner, driven by Steven Harbison, 39, of Logan and a 2008 Chevrolet, driven by Peter Tarantino, 26, of Steubenville, Ohio. Harbison was not injured. Tarantino was injured and transported to an area hospital.
Long said, “We would just encourage any friend or family member that has any contact with him (Booth) to contact law enforcement, or just persuade him to come turn himself in, so he can get this matter put behind him.”
Anyone with any information on Booth's whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Hanceville Police Department at 256-352-9811.
Booth is described as 5'6", 135 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
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