Wild chase leaves Mich. officer injured

The Kalamazoo Gazette

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team member was injured Tuesday in a struggle authorities said he had with a parolee who fled on foot and in a car after being stopped by police on Kalamazoo's north side.

Police said the officer suffered injuries that included bruising to his right leg, a minor concussion and a bruise to his head. He was treated and released from Bronson Methodist Hospital.

He is expected to be off duty "for a day or two," police said.

The parolee suffered a cut to the right side of his forehead and cheek and an abrasion to his left arm.

Neither the names of the man nor of the officer and his partner were released.

The injured officer and his partner were near North Westnedge Avenue at about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday responding to neighborhood complaints of drug activity when they stopped the 36-year-old in a car for failing to use a signal as he turned from Norway Street onto Westnedge, according to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

The man drove slowly down Westnedge and ignored "multiple" siren activations before turning east onto Drexel Place and stopping on the side of the road, police said in a news release.

Police said the man got out of the driver's side of his car and fled eastbound on foot as the officers approached. The officers chased the man down Drexel, around a large tree and then back to his car.

One of the officers made attempts to grab the man as he got back to the vehicle, but failed as first the man's shirt, and then his undershirt, tore off of him, authorities said. The officer who was injured, police said, was pulled into the car as he made a third try to grab the man as he got in to the vehicle and then accelerated "out of control" down Drexel.

The other KVET officer gave chase to the car on foot and radioed for backup as he saw his partner's feet and legs hanging out of the car as it swerved in the road and hit a curb before turning onto North Park Street, the news release said. Meanwhile, in the car, police said, the officer hung on as the suspect pushed on his chest and attempted to get him out of the moving car.

The car eventually left the road, struck an unidentified object, a trash container and then a tree, police said. The impact threw the police officer into the car's windshield. The officer also was affected by the force of the suspect's body.

After the crash, police said, the man attempted to flee out of the car's passenger door. The officer grabbed the man and a struggle took place in the middle of North Park Street.

The officer's partner eventually arrived on the scene and the man was subdued and arrested.

The man faces charges including fleeing and eluding police, resisting and obstructing police and assault with intent to do great bodily harm, police said.

Police said the man told police he fled from the officers because he was on parole and did not want to go back to jail. The man was on parole for auto theft and prison escape, the news release said. 

Copyright 2007 Kalamazoo Gazette

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