01/17/2007

Mo. police say driver hit patrol car on purpose

By William C. Lhotka
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A man deliberately rammed a St. John police car early Sunday, causing an officer to suffer a fractured vertebrae, before leading a high-speed chase through several municipalities, officials said.

Robert Looney, 27, of St. Louis, was charged in warrants Monday with assaulting a police officer, leaving the scene of the accident and resisting arrest.

St. John police Cpl. Bruce Kohmke was driving his patrol car along St. Charles Rock Road at 4:02 a.m. Sunday when a car driven by Looney crashed into it, police said.

The crash took place in the 8900 block; Looney led a high-speed chase that ended in the 1100 block of Lucas and Hunt Road, several miles away, said Patrolman Dominic Orlando.

When police questioned Looney about the crash, Orlando said, he told them he had deliberately crashed into the police car. Looney gave no reason, Orlando said.

Kohmke was released from a hospital and was recovering at home Monday from the back injury, Orlando said.

Copyright 2007 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Inc.
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