William Blankenship III, speaking in an interview (Chic... William Blankenship III, speaking in an interview (Chicago Sun-Times).
"The media made me look horrible, and I am not a horrible person," William Blankenship III said in a recent interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. "I am a family man ... with a full-time job, a house and a car."

Earlier this month, Blankenship was handcuffed in the back of a police car and accused of drug possession -- a crime he says he did not commit.

While driving to do some mechanical work for a friend in northern Indiana, he said he made an unexpected stop to use the bathroom at a Family Express, at which a police officer pulled up with his lights flashing.

Blankenship figured it was a routine traffic stop until the officer asked to search the car. After he agreed, Blankenship was placed in handcuffs and told to wait near the police car. After a few minutes, the officer told him he found drugs and paraphernalia.

Blankenship told the officer found he had never seen the contraband before, except a small scale often used for measuring and weighing drugs.

"He told me that what he found could put me away for life," he said in the interview. "But what he found I have never seen before in my life."

His mind raced while he sat handcuffed in the back of the police car. As he thought about his wife and newborn child, the 22-year-old hopped into the driver's seat of the police cruiser and took off while the officer underwent a more thorough inspection of Blankenship's car.

The joyride started a two-day-long ordeal that made headlines around the country after he radioed the police station asking for keys to the handcuffs and a cigarette lighter.

Blankenship was eventually caught and now stands accused of auto theft, criminal mischief, fleeing law enforcement and escape.

"Under circumstances of great stress I have made, in the past, poor decisions. I will admit that," he said. "But I wanted to see my wife and child again."

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