A St. Paul police officer was dragged behind a pickup truck as he pursued a suspect Thursday.
The dramatic incident began as police responded to a call about a man chasing a 14-year-old girl in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. Officers quickly located the man, who fled on foot. Security camera footage shows that as the chase unfolded, a white Dodge pickup came to the aid of the suspect as he leapt into the bed.
“A passenger in the pickup told the suspect to jump in the back. He did,” the St. Paul Police Department explained in a statement.
Not ready to let the suspect go, an officer grabbed onto the truck and was dragged for about half a block while the suspect reportedly struck him in the face. Although the officer did eventually fall from the vehicle, St. Paul police report that he suffered only minor scrapes and bruises.
It is unclear how or if the driver of the pickup knew the fleeing suspect.
“Officer Morgan is tough, so he’s going to be OK. But this could have ended tragically; we got lucky. It just goes to show you how quickly a seemingly ordinary call for service can take strange and dangerous turns,” said St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell.
“Hopefully someone out there knows who was involved and will give us a call so we can figure out why the man was chasing the 14-year-old girl and why the driver decided to help him make a break for it,” he added.
Anybody who knows more about what happened is encouraged to call 651-266-5650.
This incident is similar to another instance of a Minnesota police officer who was dragged behind a white pickup truck in April. That officer also survived the incident, which took place in Hutchinson.