Janet Barber

Grove Sun

JAY – A Jay man is accused of stealing cigarettes from a local convenience store, then stealing an automobile to make his getaway.

Corey Dylan Stapleton 19, of Jay, is accused of breaking into the Grand Country Convenience Store, located at the intersection of US Hwy 59 and Hwy 412, by throwing a rock through a window at 5:20 a.m. July 3.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy Tracy Shaw, Stapleton threw a rock through the window and took several packs of cigarettes before leaving the store.

Witnesses say they saw a young man with tan shorts and no shirt running across the highway and down a dirt road (E 360 Rd).

Sheriff’s Sgt. Ralph Feather was called and the two officers searched the store and the surrounding property for the suspect.

Deputy Shaw stated that he observed a white SUV leaving a residence approximately ¼ mile from the store. He claimed the vehicle accelerated rapidly and did not turn the headlights on. The vehicle approached the intersection and turned south, heading toward Jay.

Sgt. Feather proceeded to chase the vehicle and according to the report, the vehicle crashed on E 380 Rd. after Stapleton lost control. It landed in the ditch and ejected Stapleton.

Officers found Stapleton unconscious and bleeding heavily from multiple cuts to his face and body. Emergency medical personnel were called, and the suspect was transported to St. John’s Hospital in Joplin, MO where he was treated and later released that day.

Deputy Shaw and doctors at the emergency room determined that Stapleton had been drinking, but he refused to submit to a blood alcohol test.

According to the affidavit, Deputy Shaw has not been allowed to speak with Stapleton since the incident.

Stapleton could face charges including second-degree burglary, larceny of an automobile, assault and battery, operating a motor vehicle under the influence, eluding an officer and operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license.