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YSU officer dragged during chase

Published: Tue, December 20, 2011 @ 8:38 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — A Youngstown State University police officer was taken to the hospital this evening after being dragged about 30 feet by a vehicle.

YSU spokesman Ron Cole said Officer Dan Farinelli saw the driver of a Jeep vehicle go through a stop sign without stopping heading east on Lincoln Avenue at Phelps Street on campus about 5 p.m.

The officer put on his lights, stopped the vehicle and walked to the driver’s window, Cole said.

Farinelli noticed a temporary license plate on the car that had expired in May and asked driver for his license and registration. The driver said he had no brakes on the car, and he tried to leave the vehicle. Farinelli told him to stay in the car, Cole said.

The driver then grabbed onto the officer’s sweater vest began to drive, dragging him about 30 feet. Cole said Farinelli rolled away from the car and he and a second officer that had a arrived chased the Jeep, which traveled on Wick Avenue through downtown across the Market Street bridge to Interstate 680.

At about the Connecticut Avenue/Belle Vista exit on I-680 on the West Side, the Jeep’s driver rammed into one of the cruisers twice before coming to a stop, Cole said.

An ambulance was called and the driver and Farinelli were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center. Neither appear to have serious injuries, and charges are pending against the Jeep driver on consultation with the city prosecutor, Cole said.

Two children passengers in the Jeep were not injured, Cole added.

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