Monday, March 12, 2001

Fleeing suspect backs over cop


Covington chase ends in West End

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — A 25-year-old Covington police officer was injured Sunday night when a driver he had been pursuing backed his car into the cop twice.

        The officer was knocked about 20 feet on one of the impacts, police reported.

[photo] A Covington police official looks over the scene where a Covington police officer was hit by the car at right.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
| ZOOM |
        Officer Robert Auton, who has been with Covington police since August 1999, was in stable condition at University Hospital at 11 p.m. He was being treated for injuries to his ribs, left side and knee.

        The injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, police said.

        “He called his wife from his cell phone in the ambulance,” said Assistant Police Chief Lt. Col. Jim Liles.

        The driver, J.C. Arnold, whom police described as in his early 20s, faces possible assault, wanton endangerment and traffic charges, Lt. Col. Liles said.

        Officers at 9:25 p.m. had spotted a Chevrolet Beretta on Holman Street that was wanted for an unauthorized use, Lt. Col. Liles said. Its driver refused to stop, so two police cruisers pursued it.

        Mr. Arnold stopped at West Eighth Street and Dalton Avenue in Cincinnati's West End, so Officer Auton got out of his cruiser. He was behind Mr. Arnold's car when the man put the car in reverse, backed up and knocked the officer down, then backed up and hit him again, Lt. Liles said.

Hicks
Hicks
        Other officers caught Mr. Arnold.

        Ricky Hicks, 45, of nearby West Eighth Street, witnessed Officer Auton being injured. He heard sirens and came out on his front porch.

        Officers were trying to pull Mr. Arnold from the car when the driver “floored it,” Mr. Hicks said.

        Mr. Hicks talked to the officer, who “said he was numb and couldn't breathe. I said take deep breaths.”

        Lt. Col. Liles said to his knowledge no shots were fired.

       



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