A 12-year-old boy was in critical condition yesterday after he was hit by a police car in West Baltimore while on his way to school, police and witnesses said.
Bryan Thompson of the 4500 block of Fairfax Road was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital with head injuries after he was struck about 7: 45 a.m., police said. Hospital spokeswoman Staci Vernick said Bryan underwent surgery yesterday and was in critical condition. She provided no further information.
Police and witnesses said Bryan was hit after he got off a Mass Transit Administration bus heading north in the 3700 block of Garrison Blvd. toward Garrison Middle School, where the boy is a seventh-grader.
The bus pulled over at an MTA stop on the east side of the street, a block from the school. Bryan stepped from the rear exit of the bus and ran around the back of the bus into the street,
Christopher Sandford, 30, a Northwestern District police officer who joined the force in January 1999, was driving south on Garrison toward an automobile accident in the 4400 block of Liberty Heights Ave.
Sandford's marked squad car, its lights flashing and siren sounding, had just passed Garrison Middle School when Bryan entered the street from behind the bus, witnesses said.
Paris David, 17, was taking the bus Bryan was on to Sub Masters Carryout in the 3800 block of Garrison Blvd., where he is a short-order cook. Looking out the window, he said, he saw the boy run out, saw the police car pass, heard a loud noise and saw the boy crumple to the pavement.
David and other passengers left the bus and rushed to the child. He was lying still, with his book bag wrapped around his left arm, they said.
The police car pulled over to the curb on the west side of the street. David said Sandford got out of the car and went to Bryan, who was beginning to move his head and arms. Sandford put a hand on Bryan's chest and told him he would be all right, to lie still, David said.
"I just felt like crying. It was so bad," David said later in the Sub Masters kitchen. "I can't forget it. I won't forget it."
Police said they are investigating the accident.
At Garrison Middle School, Principal Malcum Dates said Bryan is a popular pupil and that the pupils "are quite upset."