BROOKLYN — A Brooklyn Police officer was attempting to stop a motorist when the driver pounced on the accelerator and headed to the McKinley Bridge, where the suspect then struck another Brooklyn Police officer's patrol car early Wednesday morning.
Brooklyn Police Chief Tony Tomlinson gave this account of what happened:
A police officer attempted to stop a St. Louis man who was driving a gray Dodge Magnum about 3:50 a.m. but the driver sped off.
The officer followed him and called his partner who was in Venice at the time.
"That officer went to the McKinley Bridge because 99 percent of the time when someone flees, that's the way they go," Tomlinson said.
That officer then went to the base of the bridge.
"His squad car was sitting off to the side with its flashing lights on. The officer had gotten out of his car and got his dog out ... and stepped over the rail that is there. He left the back door of his police car open," Tomlinson said.
"There was plenty of room for the driver to get by. But he was driving at about 80 mph. when he slammed into our vehicle and fled across the McKinley Bridge into St. Louis," Tomlinson said.
The pursuing officer was a long ways behind the fleeing driver. And, before he went into St. Louis to look for the driver, Tomlinson said he stopped to make sure his partner was OK.
The pursuing officer then went to St. Louis and found the vehicle with damage to its front end abandoned on Malinkrodt and Blair Avenue in north St. Louis.
The suspect has not been located. But, Tomlinson said police know who they are looking for and he is confident that an arrest will be made.
Earlier this week, a Brooklyn officer was struck by a car. He was able to get in his vehicle and give chase but the suspect in that case exceeded speeds of 100 mph as he fled and the pursuit was terminated for safety reasons, Tomlinson said.
That driver has not yet been located.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.