City teen hit by police cruiser, critically injured during arrest

A 17-year-old bicyclist who was hit by a police cruiser after officers said they saw him selling drugs in East Baltimore and tried to arrest him was in critical condition Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, according to a city police spokesman.

The youth, whose name was not released because he could face juvenile charges, had been alert and talking to police after he was struck in an alley off the 2300 block of E. Preston St. about 10:40 a.m. Sunday, according to the police report. A police spokesman said his condition deteriorated on Monday.

The spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, said the accident is under investigation by the traffic unit and the department's internal affairs division, which is routine after a suspect is seriously injured or killed in a police operation. Guglielmi said it appears that "no policies or procedures were violated."

A police report says that undercover officers were watching suspected drug deals in the 2300 block of E. Hoffman St. The report says that one officer saw a youth wearing a gray hooded sweat jacket and blue jeans riding a bicycle with red rims and black tires.

The report says the youth, while on the bike, approached a gold vehicle, talked with the driver and then reached into his jacket and pulled out a clear plastic bag containing red-and-white gel capsules. The officer wrote that the youth handed the bag to the driver and rode off west toward North Bradford Street.

Police officers stopped the gold vehicle, and other officers followed the youth on the bicycle. The youth sped off and was chased into the alley, where the report says an officer was backing up his cruiser to block off the exit when he "heard a crunching sound."

The report says the officer found the bicycle under his cruiser along with a bag of capsules filled with suspected heroin. Police said the injured youth tried to get up and run but had to be restrained so that paramedics could treat him.

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