02/22/2007

Philadelphia man revs car into 6 officers, critically injures 1

By Joseph A. Gambardello, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia Inquirer

Declaring "you're not going to take my brother to jail," an 18-year-old man aimed a car at six police officers making an arrest in Northern Liberties yesterday, crushing an officer under the vehicle and bouncing a second off the hood, authorities said.

Officer Joseph Glovacz, an 11-year-old veteran of the force, was in critical condition last night after undergoing surgery at Hahnemann University Hospital to save his leg, the Police Department said.

The other officer, whose name was not released, was treated and released.

The assailant and his brother, who was wanted for a robbery Tuesday, went to jail facing different charges.

The Police Department refused to identify them yesterday, but neighborhood residents said they were Lydell Hudson, 18, and Wendell Hudson, 17, respectively.

A woman who answered the phone at the Hudson home would not comment. "I have nothing to say to you," she said.

Police said Glovacz, of the 26th District, was in plainclothes when he responded to a call about 11:10 a.m. from Sixth District officers chasing a robbery suspect.

The officers arrested the suspect at Orianna and Wildey Streets in Northern Liberties and were putting him in the back of a patrol car when they heard "a car revving up," Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.

"Then they heard a man basically saying, 'You're not going to take my brother to jail,'" he said.

A green Dodge Intrepid raced at the four uniformed and two plainclothes officers, police said. One officer landed on the hood and Glovacz ended up pinned under the car, while the others leapt to safety.

Glovacz, the married father of two, sustained serious internal injuries to his lower body and his right leg, police said.

Mayor Street and Johnson both went to the hospital shortly after the incident to visit the officer and offer support to his family.

Officers quickly arrested the 18-year-old driver and charged him with attempted murder, four counts of aggravated assault and other offenses, police said.

Johnson said the incident underscored the unexpected dangers police officers face daily.

"This is the type of job that once you leave home, there is no guarantee you will come home," he said.

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