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Man accused of stealing, crashing van

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ROBERT ALLEN

Times Reporter

A local man was arrested after authorities claim he crashed his vehicle, stole a van and then crashed it.

The Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office arrested Tavares Dion Rumph during the early morning hours of March 9. He is charged with vehicle theft.

According to a GCSO release, this is what happened: 

Rumph was driving a Chevy Impala westbound on Bonnie Hill Road when he moved into the eastbound lane. The driver of an eastbound Windstar Van told authorities Rumph couldn’t pass the vehicle in front of him quickly enough so he swerved back into his lane but lost control of his car, driving off the road and crashing into a tree. 

The van driver pulled over. She saw Rumph walking away from his wrecked vehicle. She asked if he was OK. She also asked if anyone was still in his car. Rumph allegedly climbed into the van and drove away.

When GCSO responded to the crash, the deputy found the van driver waiting by the road. 

The deputy found a written warning in the wrecked Impala. He collected it to possibly identify the then-unkown driver. It was issued to Tavares Dion Rumph on March 8 for failing to stop at a stop sign in Havana. 

While the GCSO deputy waited with the van owner for a Florida Highway Patrol trooper to arrive, he was notified of a single-vehicle crash to which the Chattahoochee Police Department had just responded. The vehicle was the stolen van.  

The van driver said she could identify the Impala driver, so she went with the deputy to the second crash site. 

The van was in a front yard on Hickory Street in Chattahoochee. Rumph had allegedly crashed the van into the home’s concrete steps.

Law enforcement identified Rumph at this point location, according to GCSO. He complained of injury to his right ankle and the left side of his neck. GCSO noted blood on Rumph’s legs, hands  and arms. Blood also appeared on the driver’sdoor of the van. 

Rumph claimed he crashed the first car when running from men who were trying to rob and shoot him. 

Gadsden EMS responded to the scene but Rumph refused all treatment. GCSO transported Rumph to Capital Regional (Gadsden) Emergency Room. At first he agreed to be treated there, but then reportedly refused all treatment again. 

Rumph was arrested and transported to the Gadsden County Jail. At the jail, Rumph requested medical attention. He was  transported back to the ER. Rumph was treated for a sprained right ankle sustained during one of the two crashes. He was released on a $5,000 bond.