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January 22, 2008
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Pa. man runs over officer's foot

By Tracy Jordan
The Morning Call

SALISBURY, Pa. — A purse snatcher who tried to flee from police at the South Mall in Salisbury Township on Sunday afternoon is facing a myriad of charges, including assault of a police officer, officials said.

The suspect, 27-year-old Cliff W. Werkheiser, was captured in Allentown after allegedly fleeing in a stolen vehicle from the mall parking lot in the 3300 block of Lehigh Street, knocking a police officer to the ground and running over his foot with the vehicle.

According to a news release from Salisbury Township police, Werkheiser, whose address was not provided, was in a stolen vehicle when the officer approached at about 3:45 p.m.

The officer recognized the sport utility vehicle from a police report on a purse snatching that had just occurred at the Redner's Warehouse Market on Hamilton Boulevard in Upper Macungie Township, police said.

When the officer told Werkheiser to place his hands on the dashboard, Werkheiser put the vehicle in reverse and then in drive to flee, the news release said. In the process, the police officer was knocked to the ground and his foot run over by the vehicle, but he was not seriously injured.

After being caught, Werkheiser was taken to Lehigh County Prison to await arraignment on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, receiving stolen property, fleeing or attempting to allude a police officer and several traffic-related offenses.

Werkheiser was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest before being jailed, but the news release did not disclose the nature of his injuries or details of his arrest.

Copyright 2008, The Morning Call

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