Man who crashed stolen Richmond police car had BB gun, warrants

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A man who died Monday when he stole a Richmond Police car and crashed it into a building on Jefferson Davis Highway was wanted for failure to pay child support.

Timothy R. Howerton, 32, was wanted on a misdemeanor charge of failure to pay child support out of Colonial Heights, according to court documents. He was supposed to be in court for a hearing on March 22, but didn't show up. He owed $2,320 in back child support, according to court records.

Howerton had also been indicted on a grand larceny charge in Richmond and had a court date set for April 19. A check of his records also shows a protective order taken out against him in Chesterfield in 2011 and previous drug charges. His family confirms Howertan had used drugs in the past, but they did not know if he was on drugs at the time of the crash.

Police also revealed Tuesday, the firearm Howerton pointed at the police officer when he stole his vehicle was a BB gun. The gun was recovered inside the vehicle.

Howerton pointed the BB gun at an officer when he was approached about the outstanding warrants. Howerton then stole the officers marked police car and smashed it into the closed loading bay of the Zeller + Gmelin Corp. building on Jefferson Davis Highway near Walmsley Boulevard around 1:30 p.m., causing a small fire. Police and fire crews rushed to the scene and tried to resuscitate the suspect, but he died at the scene.

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