SALEM TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — High drama Thursday in Berwick as police say they had to open fire on a man who allegedly struck an officer with his car. It ended with a high-speed pursuit.
Officers forced the suspect’s car into hedges. A black car is one of the police cruisers that chased and then rammed the suspect’s car.
“He was struck. One of my officers was actually struck as he decided that he was going to flee the scene,” Berwick Police Chief Ken Strish said.
And that’s when other Berwick police officers opened fire on the suspect. It all started just after noon on 15th Street in Berwick. Officers spotted the man they say was wanted on drug charges.
“It wasn’t technically a traffic stop. The car from the suspect did strike my officer,” Strish said.
The suspect fled the scene at a high rate of speed with state and local police in pursuit. The chase ended about a mile away in Salem Township when officers used what’s called a pit maneuver to force him off the road. The suspect was taken to the nearby Berwick Hospital.
We are told he has non-life-threatening injuries. The officer who was struck by the suspect vehicle is ok. So says the police chief. Now the state police will investigate the incident.
“I’m certain of the fact that my officers will be vindicated as for doing what was right in the situation. This is just a dangerous individual who pushed the incident to my officers,” Strish said.
The police chief identified the suspect as Frank Snyder. He remains in the hospital The name of the officer who was struck has not yet been released.
It’s also unclear at this point whether the Luzerne County or Columbia County District Attorney will decide whether the shooting was justified since the incident occurred in both counties.