A Brooklyn police officer was hit and knocked down by a fleeing motorist just before 4 a.m. Monday before leading the officer on a chase that exceeded 100 mph.
"He pulled the steering wheel really hard, bumping and knocking the officer to the ground. Then he slammed on the gas and took off at a high rate of speed," Brooklyn Police Chief Tony Tomlinson said. "Officer Heathersly got up and got into his car and pursued the driver."
Officer Chris Heathersly, 43, ended the pursuit at Interstate 70 and Goodfellow Boulevard in Missouri because it was endangering other drivers. Police are still seeking the driver of the four-door sedan believed to be from Illinois and in his late 30's or early 40's.
Heathersly did not need medical treatment, Tomlinson said.
The incident began before 4 a.m. with Heathersly making a traffic stop.
"He approached the car and had a conversation with the driver. The driver refused to cooperate with the officer. Everything he was told to do, he refused," Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson said the driver put the car in gear while Heathersly was talking to him.
"The driver crossed over into Missouri on Interstate 70 west, reaching speeds at over 100 miles per hour, all the while he was driving recklessly and showing no regard for innocent motorists," Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson said several other agencies came to help Brooklyn . He is grateful to them.
"We are still working with some other agencies to locate our suspect. We have what we think are some good leads. We are hopeful that we will locate him soon," Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson said Heathersly was following department policy when he pursued the fleeing motorist.
"The police manual says the officer can pursue if the incident is a forcible felony. The forcible felony was the suspect striking the officer," Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson said Heathersly in December began his second stint as an officer with the Brooklyn Police Department.