Suspect who assaulted, dragged police officer Friday still on the loose

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) – New Bedford police are still searching for a suspect two days after he allegedly assaulted a police officer while being taken into custody.

New Bedford police say the altercation happened just before 7 p.m. Friday after the suspect allegedly shoplifted from the Stop and Shop on Dartmouth Street.

The officer, working a security detail at the grocery store at the time, approached the suspect as he was entering his vehicle in the parking lot. While trying to place the suspect into custody for shoplifting several items, a struggle ensued.

According to New Bedford police, the suspect was able to get into his vehicle, start the ignition, and put the car in reverse while the officer was attempting to apprehend him. The officer, who had his arm in the vehicle during this time, was dragged approximately thirty feet before breaking free.

The suspect’s vehicle took off from the scene at a high rate of speed. Just before 7:30 p.m., the vehicle was found on Idlewood Drive in Dartmouth, where it had apparently struck a utility pole. The suspect fled on foot before police arrived at the Dartmouth scene, and a search of the area by police officers and police K9’s turned up nothing.

The vehicle was subsequently towed from the Dartmouth scene and is being processed by the New Bedford Police Identification Unit and Detective Division.

The investigation into this incident remains very active Sunday. Police are not releasing the identity of the suspect at this time, however he is facing several charges which include shoplifting, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault to murder.

The New Bedford police officer involved in the altercation with the suspect was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries, and released. He is expected to make a full recovery.