A MOTORIST has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to murder a police officer in an alleged hit-and-run attack in Burton.
It is claimed the 40-year-old man deliberately drove a stolen red Vauxhall Astra car into the young male officer, who was flung onto the bonnet and carried for a short distance before falling off.
Fewer than 24 hours later, the suspect was spotted again in the stolen vehicle and chased by police cars, ending with a major crash on St Peter’s Bridge just hours after Burton’s Remembrance Sunday parade.
The fleeing driver was today still in custody being questioned by detectives. He has not been charged with any offence.
Inspector Tyrone Kerr, of Burton police, said the officer suffered only a minor knee wound and returned to work shortly after he was injured in Edward Street, Burton, at 5.30pm on Saturday.
The stolen car was then spotted on Sunday afternoon and, following a short chase from Stapenhill into Burton, it hit some metal railings and collided with a Renault Scenic travelling in the opposite direction near the Tesco supermarket.
The road was closed after the 2.05pm crash so debris and leaking fuel could be cleaned up.
The driver was arrested at the scene along with his female 38-year-old passenger. Both were given medical treatment at the scene.
No-one else was injured.
Insp Kerr said: “The red Vauxhall Astra is believed to have been stolen during a burglary three or four weeks ago.
“One of our officers saw the vehicle on Saturday and made an attempt to stop it.
“The driver then drove the vehicle at the officer, causing the officer to end up on the bonnet being carried along.
“The driver of the vehicle is a well-known local criminal who was already wanted on other matters. The officer identified himself to the driver, who then made a deliberate attempt to drive at and injure the officer.
“The man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.”
Insp Kerr continued: “The officer’s welfare is in hand and he fortunately did not need to report sick.
“Any attacks on police officers are treated very seriously and it is only through good grace that this officer sustained only minor injuries.
“Bearing in mind what happened to the female police officer recently in London who died on foot chasing an offender, and the officers who died in the attack in Manchester, incidents such as this show what police officers do in the line of duty and the danger they put themselves in.”
Anyone who witnessed the alleged attack on the officer, the pursuit or the collision is asked to call Staffordshire Police by dialling 101, quoting incident number 422 of November 11. Alternatively, witnesses can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.