CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — A Clearwater police officer was hit by a suspect Monday morning while investigating a shots fired call, according to arrest documents.
Police said that the officer was investigating a potential shooting at the Econolodge on Gulf to Bay Boulevard when he tried to make contact with someone in Room 116, where the shot supposedly came from.
The department said the officer then tried to make contact with a person in a Toyota Camry that was near the room.
According to an arrest affidavit, the driver, 30-year-old James Artez Mathew, made movement in the vehicle.
Police said after the officer told him to stop several times, Mathew put the car in gear, turned toward the officer, and hit him with the vehicle while fleeing from the parking lot.
Mathew ended up abandoning the Camry on Whitney Road and US-19. Clearwater police K9s found the man and his passenger, Ebonie Wymes, in a wooded area nearby, according to police.
The department said Mathew was found with crack cocaine and pharmaceutical pills. Mathew said the crack was for personal use and that he had a prescription for the other meds, according to an arrest affidavit.
Police also said that Mathew was a suspect in a burglary in Hillsborough County.
Both he and Wymes were taken into custody on aggravated fleeing and battery of a law enforcement officer. Mathew was also charged with possession of controlled substances and the burglary in Hillsborough County.
The affidavits did not explicitly mention the officer’s condition, but he did survive being hit and swore to the facts of the case as the affiant.