07/26/2007

Fla. officer injured in suspect pursuit

By Juan Ortega and Sallie James
The Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. A man in a stolen Cadillac who tried to elude Lauderhill police nearly hit an officer, led officers on a car chase and rammed into another driver before being subdued with a Taser in Plantation, police said Wednesday.

Edgar Francois, 18, of Lauderdale Lakes, was taken into custody on State Road 7 and charged with fleeing police, causing injury to a person or property, aggravated assault on an officer, resisting arrest with violence and driving without a license, Lauderhill Police Lt. Mike Cochran said.

The incident began when a Lauderhill police officer spotted a stolen silver 2001 Cadillac at 3:22 a.m. at Northwest 26th Street and Northwest 55th Avenue, near the Royal Oaks apartment complex in a densely populated residential area.

The officer called for backup before confronting the driver. As police arrived, three passengers inside the vehicle fled, each going in a different direction, Cochran said.

Francois weaved through the surrounding apartment complexes in the 2400 to 2600 blocks of 55th Avenue west of Florida's Turnpike, Cochran said.

Officer Davlin Session was on foot when the vehicle crashed through a construction fence. The car was headed toward Session and the officer fired at the windshield but didn't hit the driver, Cochran said.

During the subsequent chase, Francois smashed into a vehicle on State Road 7 near Sunrise Boulevard. Oshain Neville Fairclough, 21, of Lauderdale Lakes, wasn't seriously hurt, but was taken to Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale for treatment, Cochran said.

Police used a Taser on Francois, and his legs were restrained so he could be taken to Broward General for medical evaluation. The Cadillac had been reported missing from Tamarac. Session, with the department since October, injured his leg while jumping out of the Cadillac's way. He also suffered a hand injury while helping arrest Francois, who kicked and resisted officers, Cochran said.

Session will be on paid leave pending an investigation, as is policy whenever an officer is involved in a shooting.

Copyright 2007 The Sentinel Communications Co.

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