Texas officer dragged as man steals his cruiser

By Vincent T. Davis
San Antonio Express-News
 Officer recovering after attack

SAN ANTONIO — A 26-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Department was in stable condition Sunday night after a man stole his cruiser and dragged him down a Southeast Side street, authorities said.

The unidentified man faces multiple felony charges including assault of a public servant, resisting arrest, escape and felony theft of a vehicle, said police spokesman Joe Rios. The man also had two outstanding municipal warrants, Rios said.

Pulling the man over for alleged reckless driving, the officer, a sergeant, tried to arrest him at 7:35 p.m. at a parking lot at the Spanish Spur Apartments in the 6800 block of Pecan Valley.

The man resisted arrest, Rios said, wrestling, fighting and arguing with the sergeant until both fell into the open driver's-side door. The man was able to drive off, dragging the officer for several feet until he let go of the car, Rios said.

The sergeant, assigned to the East patrol, suffered road rash on the right side of his body and welts and bruises to his head. EMS took the unidentified officer to Southeast Baptist Hospital, where he was in stable condition.

The man's attempted escape ended on Lasses Boulevard, turning on Cooke, a dead-end street. He sped between two houses, smashing the cruiser through a barbed wire fence, with the car dropping hood down into a mossy ravine.

Rios said the man ran across Southeast Military Drive and into a Wal-Mart, where he tried to blend in with shoppers. Several police units cordoned off entry and exit points to the parking lot.

Officers apprehended the man after he walked out of a store exit with a group of shoppers.

Michael Fonseca, 20, a tenant at the apartment complex, saw the struggle unfold in front of himself and his girlfriend. He said he couldn't believe the sight of the officer and the man wrestling and that at one point the man drove the cruiser over a parking lot curb, where the men fell from the vehicle into the street. He retold the incident to neighbors coming out of their apartments.

"This was the craziest Easter I've ever had," Fonseca said.

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