SAN ANTONIO – A pair of sharp eyes could help Windcrest police track down a driver who struck an officer early Thursday morning in a convenience store parking lot near Interstate 35 and Walzem Road, police say.
Chief A. O. “Al” Ballew said the officer, a four-year veteran, did not suffer any life-threatening injuries when he was struck. He was taken to a hospital, though, for treatment.
Ballew said a 19-year-old man in a pickup purposely hit the officer as he escaped from him shortly before 4:30 a.m.
He said the officer had noticed something wrong with the tags on the suspect’s pickup and attempted to question him. However, Ballew said the man was uncooperative and became violent.
"When the officer attempted to make an arrest, the subject began fighting, assaulting the officer. The officer did deploy his Taser,” Ballew said. "The subject put the vehicle in gear and knocked the officer to the ground and then struck the officer."
The suspect was able to get away, but not before also causing damage to another pickup in the parking lot, police said.
Fred Weins owns that truck. He had just gone into the Corner Store for his regular morning cup of coffee.
“And I saw the Windcrest officer standing beside the pickup,” he said. “It looked like he was trying to open the door to get the driver out. And the driver backed his truck up into his cruiser."
Weins car was left with dents and scrapes on its rear passenger side. The officer’s SUV had front end damage.
More at the forefront of Weins' mind, though, was the well-being of the officer.
"That was my biggest concern was if he was hurt,” he said. “There was a rescue squad here already. He got up and said he felt ok, but I know he had to be in shock. "
"They need to get the guy and find out why he took off,” Weins said.
That’s what investigators say they are trying to do.
Ballew said he planned to review surveillance video from the store. Detectives also interviewed Weins and other witnesses.
A woman who was a passenger in the suspect’s pickup was detained at the scene for questioning, he said.
When police do find the driver, he most likely will be charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a peace officer, Ballew said.
Police are asking the public to keep an eye out for the suspect’s truck, a dark blue Chevy dually style pickup with a large white tool box in its bed near the tailgate.
Anyone who sees it is asked to Windcrest police at (210) 655-2666.
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