2 police officers hurt in east Charlotte chase - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

2 police officers hurt in east Charlotte chase

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By Cameron Easley - email & Tom Roussey - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Two police officers were injured during a high-speed chase that happened in east Charlotte Thursday afternoon.

Officer Keith Trietley was the most seriously hurt.  He reportedly suffered broken bones after crashing head-on with the suspect's truck.

Richard Grubb was the other officer hurt.  Police say the suspect rammed into his squad car earlier in the chase.  His injuries were far less serious.

Police say the injuries to both men are not life-threatening.

Police say the mayhem began with a routine traffic stop at Shamrock Drive and Sharon Amity Road.

Police say Grubb tried to pull over a pickup truck driven by 57-year-old Francisco Rodriguez for speeding, but Rodriguez threw his vehicle into reverse and slammed it into the front of the police car, and sped away.

Grubb then chased Rodriguez to a dead end off of Michigan Avenue.  Police say Grubb got out of his vehicle, fearing Rodriguez was about to get out and run.

Instead, Rodriguez threw his truck into reverse again and gunned it for Grubb.  Police say Grubb fired two shots at Rodriguez's truck but both apparently missed, and Rodriguez drove off without hitting Grubb.

Rodriguez wound up on The Plaza just east of Sugar Creek Road.  That's where witnesses say that he crossed left of center to collide head-on with another patrol car that was responding to the shooting.  That car was driven by Trietley, who had been called in for backup.

"I heard something like a boom," said Eddie Villamizar, who was working nearby when the head-on crash happened.  "The police officer's car was kind of smoking and everything, and I thought it was going to blow up."

Firefighters had to cut off the roof of Trietley's police car to get him out. 

Rodriguez was also treated at CMC for injuries that are not life-threatening.

He is facing a number of charges including DWI, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, assault on an officer inflicting serious bodily injury with aggravated physical force, and fleeing to elude arrest.  

"It just makes you take pause and actually realize how dangerous this job actually is," CMPD chief Rodney Monroe told WBTV from the accident scene Thursday.

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