A 24-year-old man was injured early yesterday in Bolton Hill when he was hit by a police car driven by an officer trying to reach colleagues who were chasing an auto-theft suspect.
The impact of the 9:30 a.m. crash on Mount Royal Avenue, just south of West North Avenue, caved in the windshield and the front of the cruiser's roof. The two officers inside were not hurt.
The pedestrian, identified as Bobby Trent of the 1200 block of Cleveland St. in Pigtown, was treated and released from Maryland Shock Trauma Center. He apparently stepped into the street while looking in the other direction and did not see the police car, which had its emergency lights and siren activated.
"The officer wasn't going that fast," said Renee Reed, 43, who witnessed the accident. "He actually was slowing down. The man was looking the other way and just stepped into the street."
The officer was identified as Thomas W. Wohkittel, 38, a 15-year veteran assigned to the Central District.
Police were responding to Mount Royal Terrace, north of West North Avenue, after a car-theft suspect ran from officers who were trying to arrest him. Wohkittel was approaching the scene from the south.
The accident occurred a moment after officers apprehended the suspect. "We got him," one radioed to dispatch. A second later, Wohkittel reported a "10-33," shorthand for emergency, and then said over the air, "Please give me an ambulance right away."
Lt. Donald E. Healy said the officer braked when he saw the man in the road and that the man saw the cruiser and jumped straight up. He was hit by the windshield of the cruiser.