5 Conn. cops injured after suspect rams patrol cars; 3 arrested
The suspect driver was trying to push through cruisers that had blocked him in, police said
By Christine Dempsey
MERIDEN, Conn. — Five Meriden officers were injured Monday when a driver slammed into their cars to get away from police and, in one case, ran over an officer’s foot, police said.
Police eventually arrested three people, including the man they said was the driver, Luis Camacho of Gravel Street in Meriden.
The officers’ injuries include a concussion, a broken foot and sprains, police said. All were taken to the hospital and were discharged after treatment.
According to police, about 5:20 p.m. Monday, officers pulled up to a parked car on North 2nd Street in an attempt to identify the three male occupants. Police believed the car was involved in a recent shooting.
As soon as the driver saw them, he put the car into drive and accelerated, “driving straight into one of the two police vehicles that had pulled in front of it,” they said. A news release didn’t say whether all of the police vehicles were marked, but Lt. Darrin McKay described the police cars as “cruisers” in a press conference.
The driver, later identified as Camacho, put the car into reverse and slammed into another police car that had pulled up behind it, they said. He then pulled forward again, this time hitting the second police vehicle that had pulled in front of it.
“At that time the officer who was operating that vehicle had been attempting to exit his cruiser when he was pinned between the open car door and the frame of the vehicle,” McKay said.
Officers realized the driver was “slamming the police vehicles intentionally in order to create enough room to get past the police cars and flee the scene,” he said.
The driver was able to get past the officers, drive up on the sidewalk and get away, even though three tires were punctured by tire-deflating stop sticks thrown by an officer, police said. The car ran over an officer’s foot before disappearing.
Police later found the car on Chamberlain Highway near Pasco Street, and the three occupants were seen running away. One threw a fully loaded Sig Sauer P230 semi-automatic handgun into a dumpster, and a police dog trained in firearm detection found a second gun, a loaded 9 mm Taurus handgun, hidden under a bush, police said.
Camacho was charged with five counts of second-degree assault and five counts of assault on a police officer, police said. His other seven charges include carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree reckless endangerment and possession of a high-capacity magazine.
His passengers, one of whom is under 18, were charged with interfering with police.
The juvenile also was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit and weapons in a motor vehicle, police said.
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