01/13/2008

Neb. officer dragged by suspect's vehicle

BY KEVIN COLE AND ELIZABETH AHLIN
Omaha World-Herald

OMAHA, Neb. — An Omaha police officer was injured early Sunday when a car backed into him near 42nd Street and Kansas Avenue.

Officer Aaron Gurzick was treated at Methodist Hospital and released.

Officer David Spizzirri, a police spokesman, said Gurzick was one of three officers who approached a car near 42nd Street and Kansas Avenue just before 3 a.m. The officers had received a request to check on the wellbeing of a person in the car, a tan Dodge Intrepid.

When the officers approached the car, a man in the driver's seat "appeared to be sleeping," Spizzirri said. The driver then struggled with the officers before placing the car in reverse.

Gurzick became trapped in the open driver's door before being knocked to the ground and dragged a short distance.

Officer Antone Arrick III fired his gun several times, striking the car at least once. Officer Jason Heft was also at the scene.

The car was found about 15 minutes later at Martin and Redick Avenues.

Officers have not been able to locate the driver, Spizzirri said, and did not know whether he was injured.

All three officers involved have been with the Omaha Police Department just over 18 months.

Copyright 2008 Omaha World-Herald

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