On Saturday, April 20, 2013, at approximately 6:30 A.M., Officer Rick Rodden was on general patrol when he observed a vehicle speeding on Constitution near Marshall St. He initiated a traffic stop, and the lone male occupant of the vehicle initially exited, then returned to his vehicle to obtain his license.
While Officer Rodden was standing in front of the suspect vehicle, the suspect placed the vehicle in drive, and began driving off, striking Officer Rodden. Officer Rodden returned to his patrol car and gave chase, into the Village of Brooklyn.
At one point, the suspect drove directly at Officer Rodden’s stopped patrol vehicle, striking it on the driver side. Officer Rodden continued to pursue the suspect and vehicle, back to the suspect’s residence in Brooklyn, where the suspect exited his vehicle and began advancing on Officer Rodden, in an aggressive manner. Officer Rodden deployed his Taser, and after a brief struggle, and with the assistance of a Columbia firefighter that was in the area, the suspect was subdued and arrested.
The suspect, a 47 year old resident of Brooklyn, was transported to the Jackson County Jail where he was lodged on a variety of charges.
The report has been reviewed by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, and the suspect has been charged with Assault With a Dangerous Weapon, Assaulting a Police Officer, 3rd Degree Fleeing and Eluding, and Malicious Destruction of Police Property. All of the charges are four or five year felonies.
Officer Rodden is seeking treatment from the strike by the suspect’s vehicle. The Columbia Township patrol car was towed to the office, and will be repairable, with damage estimated at $2,000.00.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department assisted by handling the accident report for the damaged patrol car. A Blackman-Leoni Officer also responded to the initial call for assistance, and also assisted by transporting the suspect to Jail.
This incident is one example of the daily risks faced by officers, especially those working the outer-reaches of the County, typically as one-man patrols.