NORWICH – A Norwich police officer was struck by a vehicle Monday night as he and his partner attempted to arrest a wanted drug suspect inside a car at a gas station.
At about 8:47 p.m. City of Norwich Police responded to call involving a wanted suspect at a nearby Stewart's Shop, just outside of city limits at 4823 State Route 23 in the Town of Norwich.
According to NPD Detective Sergeant Reuben Roach, police traveled to the store and located local resident, Jesse Dann, who is wanted on a misdemeanor warrant for possession of a controlled substance issued by the Norwich City Court. Dann had allegedly failed to show up in court for a scheduled appearance resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest.
Police located Dann at the store, who was a passenger inside a white Chevy sedan with out-of-state plates.
“Once the officers approached the vehicle the individual behind the wheel hit the gas and ran into the officer,” said Roach Tuesday morning.
Officer Keith Leigh, who was struck by the car, has been in local law enforcement for more than five years. He has worked for the NPD and sheriff's office. He was transported by ambulance to Wilson Medical Center in Binghamton with minor injuries and is in stable condition.
After the vehicle hit the officer it sped from the scene. The vehicle was last seen traveling east on State Route 23 toward South New Berlin.
Police believe the collision was an intentional attack and are seeking the men for likely assault charges and resisting arrest.
The suspected driver is described as a white male wearing a baseball cap, with a black Puma hoodie and dark pants.
Police said they identified his passenger as Jesse Dann. Police are asking for the public to view the photo of the unidentified suspect in the Puma hoodie and to call the NPD with information at 607-334-1212.
The New York State Police, Chenango County Sheriff's Office, and New York State Department of Parole are assisting in the search.