FARMINGTON, CT (WFSB) – Farmington police released video from the night an officer suffered serious injuries when he was rammed by a suspect in a stolen car.
The incident happened back on Sept. 20 when Officer James O'Donnell was investigating a report of someone trying to steal catalytic converters on Talcott Notch Road.
When officers arrived, they spotted a suspect who they tried to stop.
That person was later identified as Pedro Acevedo, 32, of New Britain.
However, Acevedo managed to pin O'Donnell between the officer's cruiser and the car he was driving at the time, which had been reported stolen.
Video just released by Farmington police show the intense situation when police blocked Acevedo’s car in a narrow space.
Acevedo could be seen reversing, nearly backing into a tree.
Then, another angle showed O’Donnell getting out and raising his arms like he’s about to shoot, in an effort to stop him.
That’s when Acevedo struck O’Donnell and took off.
Acevedo managed to get away, eventually crashing the vehicle a short distance away and fled on foot into some woods.
Channel 3 Law Enforcement Analyst, Retired CT State Police Lt. Paul Vance said O'Donnell had just seconds to make a decision.
"As you saw in that dash cam video, it was a split second decision and you wonder did that cross that officer’s mind. Did he have time to draw his weapon, take defensive action?" said Vance.
Earlier this week, police said they obtained an arrest warrant for Acevedo and planned to serve it during an already-planned court appearance at Hartford Superior Court. Acevedo was in custody on a larceny charge.
The car Acevedo was reportedly driving was ditched, but DNA evidence was left behind. When Acevedo was arrested in Plainville three days later on a separate assault charge, forensic evidence helped police connect Acevedo to the Farmington case.
A man accused of seriously injuring a Farmington officer last month is facing charges.
In court on Tuesday, the Farmington police chief commented on Acevedo’s demeanor, saying it was very different when he was served with the arrest warrant.
“I can tell you that in 32 years of this, I’ve had murderers who have remorse. There is zero remorse. That kept up on the Sept. 23 arrest and that kept up this morning,” said Chief Paul Melanson.
O'Donnell needed a lengthy rehabilitation to full recover from the incident, after suffering multiple broken bones.
The chief said O'Donnell will be in the hospital for at least another month, but he has every intention to return to the force.
As a Farmington police officer recovers from injuries sustained when he was struck by the driver of a stolen car last week, a fund to help with expenses has been set up for him.
O'Donnell's wife wants to change the police accountability act, which allows officers to be sued if they violated the rights of a suspect.
Vance said civil liability is something officers think of often, "I understand the intent of the bill and what the legislators are trying to do. I just think it needs to be looked at and they need to take input from officers throughout the state of Connecticut."