By Carolyn P. Smith
BROOKYLN — Two Brooklyn police cars were struck, one head-on, by a fleeing suspect about 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
Both officers, who were in separate cars, avoided life-threatening injuries, police said.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly's office charged Melvin Fraction, 25, of 3338 Ohio St. in St. Louis, who they say was the driver of the suspect vehicle, with two counts of aggravated fleeing and being a felon in possession of a handgun.
Kelly said the officers also did a search warrant to get a black box from the car to determine the speed that the driver of the black late model Nissan Altima was traveling.
Illinois State Police investigated the accident. Fraction's bond was set at $750,000.
The officer was attempting to make a traffic stop on Illinois 3 and Jefferson Street.
"He was traveling behind Fraction's vehicle. Fraction sped off and struck another Brooklyn officer's car head-on. That officer was on Route 3 traveling north," Brooklyn Police Chief Tony Tomlinson said.
The officer was taken to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis for treatment of injuries.
The officer was not identified, but Tomlinson said he is in serious, but stable condition. The other unidentified officer did not go to the hospital right away. A medical condition was unavailable for him. Fraction was taken to St. Clair County Jail right after he was released from the hospital.
There were five people, four males and one female in the suspect's car. Two males were taken to St. Louis University Hospital. One male and the lone female in the group were taken to Gateway Medical Center in Granite City. Three of them were treated and released. One of the two SLU patients was still hospitalized when Tomlinson last checked Sunday afternoon.
While searching the suspect's car, police said they found a 9-mm handgun in the car.
This latest incident in Brooklyn has Kelly calling on leaders there to think about closing the clubs there earlier than they close right now.
"Brooklyn is a village of less than 1,000 residents that is invaded every weekend by reckless individuals from outside of that community who show little respect to the police officers there," Kelly said. "Brooklyn would be wise to consider reining in club hours like East St. Louis for the safety of the citizens and police officers who are understaffed, overwhelmed and in danger every night."
Police raided several establishments in Brooklyn in April, and Kelly said the investigation is ongoing.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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