Suspect questioned in hit-and-run of Wittenberg officer

The suspected hit-and-run driver of a black four-door sedan that struck a Wittenberg University officer Thursday night, Dec. 1, 2016, was arrested at a BP station in Springfield. (Eric Higgenbotham/Staff)
Caption
The suspected hit-and-run driver of a black four-door sedan that struck a Wittenberg University officer Thursday night, Dec. 1, 2016, was arrested at a BP station in Springfield. (Eric Higgenbotham/Staff)

UPDATE @ 10:20 a.m. (Dec. 2)

A suspect has been questioned about the hit and run but no charges have been filed yet, said Springfield police Sgt. Jeff Flores. Investigators will meet with the prosecutor’s office this morning to discuss what charges the suspect could face. Flores didn’t want to speculate about what the charges may be.

The Wittenberg police officer involved was treated for minor injuries and released from Springfield Regional Medical Center Thursday night. He had some back pain, Flores said.

UPDATE @ 11:40 p.m. (Dec. 1)

Wittenberg University Police Chief Jim Hutchins said the officer was treated and released for minor injuries at Springfield Regional Medical Center after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

The incident happened around 8:40 p.m. in the 600 block of North Fountain Avenue right on the edge of campus in Springfield, when the officer “was out of his car investigating a suspicious vehicle.”

The chief said he could not provide further details because the matter was under investigation by the Springfield Division of Police.

Springfield police Lt. Randall Valentine said the Wittenberg officer was walking up to the black four-door sedan when the driver sped off. The officer was struck and went over the hood of the car when it took off, he said.

A trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol spotted the suspect vehicle, which has been impounded and is at the tow company, Valentine said.

The driver was taken into custody and was being questioned by Springfield police. The suspect’s identity was not released.

The officer’s name, age and years of service with the campus police department were not released, and Hutchins said it was not clear whether the officer is cleared to return to work on Friday.

UPDATE @ 10:40 p.m.

The driver of a black sedan that fled after striking a Wittenberg University police officer tonight has been stopped at a BP station at the corner of Leffel Lane and Limestone Street in Springfield, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Springfield Post.

The suspect, described as a man in his middle to late 20s, later was spotted after he pulled into the gas station to get candy. That’s when law enforcement swarmed the lot. The man’s name was not released, but troopers said he was headed to the Clark County Jail.

FIRST REPORT

A Wittenberg University police officer on foot patrol tonight was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

The incident was reported about 8:40 p.m. at the Springfield college campus.

The officer said he was OK after the car, described as a black four-door sedan, struck him. The driver did not stop after the incident.

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