State trooper dragged at high speed after routine traffic stop
CLEVELAND (AP) — A dashcam video showing an Ohio state trooper being dragged at high speed for a mile down a city street by a suspect fleeing from a Thursday night traffic stop is stark evidence of the dangers faced by police officers, a spokesman for the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
The video released by the Highway Patrol Friday shows 22-year-old Jamel Robert Patton stopping momentarily during the chase in Youngstown, allowing Trooper Michael Miller to safely let go of the car. Miller is seen in the 90-second video yelling at Trooper Ray Ellis, who’d pursued Patton and Miller, “You’ve got to go after him!”
Ellis arrived at the traffic stop after Miller sought backup to remove an uncooperative Patton from his car. Miller had stopped Patton around 11:30 p.m. for driving without headlights.
Miller was treated at a Youngstown hospital for minor injuries to his back and shoulder. Patrol spokesman Lt. Robert Sellers said it’s a “miracle” Miller wasn’t badly injured.
The video shows Patton’s car passing vehicles traveling in the opposite direction on a neighborhood street while Miller is being dragged. Sellers didn’t know how fast Patton was driving, but said it was well above the posted 35-mph speed limit.
“Every traffic stop is different, and you never know when you stop a car what could potentially happen,” Sellers said. “This shows the dangers that police officers face every day.”
Sellers said Miller calling out to Ellis to continue the chase showed Miller “was in tune with getting the job done.”
Miller has been a trooper since March 2017. Ellis graduated from the patrol academy last September.
The video shows Patton tossing a gun out the window just before stopping for several seconds. Ellis ended the chase when he lost sight of Patton’s car, Sellers said.
“That’s why he was running,” Sellers said of Patton. “He knew he was going to jail if he had a gun.”
Patton pleaded guilty in December in Youngstown to improper handling of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of heroin, cocaine and drug paraphernalia. A judge allowed Patton to enter drug treatment in lieu of a conviction.
Youngstown police initially found Patton’s car, but not Patton. Sellers said Friday morning an arrest warrant was issued for Patton on felonious assault of a police officer, failure to comply and resisting arrest charges. Patton has since surrendered to the Highway Patrol.