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YOUNGSTOWN Two officers are hurt trying to arrest men



Published: Sun, January 6, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Gun in hand, one officer was struck by a car after another had been dragged 30 feet.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Disagreement over ordering at a fast-food restaurant resulted in two police officers' being sent to the hospital and three city men's going to jail.

Both officers were treated at St. Elizabeth Health Center after one was dragged 30 feet by a car and pinned between the car and the building at the Taco Bell, 3726 Market St.

The other officer was hit by the fleeing car, landing on the vehicle's hood and then rolling off.

The driver of the 1994 Pontiac Bonneville faces two charges of felonious assault on a police officer plus disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, failure to comply with police officers' signal, and driving under the influence of alcohol.

An 18-year-old passenger faces a charge of disorderly conduct. Another passenger, a 19-year-old Ravenwood Avenue resident, faces charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

All three were taken to the Mahoning County jail.

What started it: Police reports say the three men got upset because workers at the Taco Bell made them order food one at a time. The men called the female employees names and threatened to kill them, reports said.

When police arrived, the men swore and were uncooperative with the officers, reports said. Smelling alcohol on the driver, an 18-year-old Idora Avenue resident, police ordered him out of the car for a pat-down and sobriety test. Officers reported that the teen received "a passing test for a driver over the age of 21." They allowed him to get back into his car.

According to reports, police wanted to clear the parking lot and asked the men to leave, but they continued to swear and be hostile toward the officers. Eventually the officers told the men they were under arrest and tried to bring them back out of the car.

The driver put the car in drive when an officer reached in for him, and the officer was dragged at high speed along the building and to the end of the drive-thru.

The second officer who was injured tried to stop them from fleeing by standing in front of the car with gun in hand, but the driver struck the officer with the car.

After a high-speed chase by other officers at the scene, the men were apprehended in the driveway of the driver's residence. The men refused to get out of the car, so officers smashed the driver's-side window with a baton and removed him.

During questioning at the Youngstown Police Department, the men said they were trying to order food and admitted calling workers obscene names.




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