An auxiliary officer for Washington Park police fell off the Poplar Street Bridge onto the ground after a traffic stop went wrong Saturday.
The officer, Ricardo Davis, later died of his injuries, according to Washington Park Mayor Rickie Thomas. Auxiliary officers are civilian volunteers trained to assist the police force.
Thomas said Davis was “a very respectful young man.”
“It’s a big loss to the community and sad it had to end this way. He did what he thought he had to do to protect the community,” Thomas said. “My heart goes out to the family and my prayers are certainly with the family. I am at a loss for words concerning this officer.”
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After Davis fell he was taken to a St. Louis hospital, according to Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye, Jr.
At around 5 p.m., Davis attempted to pull over a Chevrolet Traverse with two males inside. The driver fled through East St. Louis and onto Interstate 64 and the Poplar Street Bridge.
Davis pursued the vehicle, which the driver crashed at the bridge, Dye said. When the two males inside the vehicle got out and ran, Davis chased them on foot. He caught up with one of the suspects and a struggle ensued. Davis fell off the bridge during the struggle. It was not immediately clear how or why he fell.
Both suspects were in police custody as of Saturday night, Dye said.
Illinois State Police continued to investigate the incident.