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Police Officer Paralyzed After Driver, 19, Intentionally Runs Him Over, Police Say

The following article, Police Officer Paralyzed After Driver, 19, Intentionally Runs Him Over, Police Say, was first published on Flag And Cross.

A Maryland police sergeant has lost the use of his legs after being struck by a driver attempting to evade officers.

The motorist, 19-year-old Raphael Mayorga, was taken into custody on charges of attempted murder and multiple traffic violations, The Washington Times reported.

Police say Mayorga intentionally ran over 36-year-old Sgt. Patrick Kepp.

The incident began early Wednesday morning when Mayorga was spotted speeding on Interstate 270. Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said he was going over 110 mph.

Rather than chase Mayorga, police used stop sticks to try to bring him to a halt. Kepp was in the process of deploying the stop sticks when Mayorga hit him.

“The vehicle [was] observed actually intentionally moving from the middle lanes to the far left lanes and came directly at Sgt. Kepp,” Jones said at a Wednesday news conference.

Farther along the highway, Mayorga was apprehended after another officer successfully deployed the stop sticks, disabling his car.

Meanwhile, Kepp was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Jones confirmed that Kepp is paralyzed from the waist down.

The police chief said Mayorga is known for provoking police into dangerous pursuits.

The suspect was driving without a license and already had a number of open driving-related cases against him, including three from April and May, the Times reported.

In one of those incidents, Kepp himself arrested Mayorga for several traffic violations, including driving 136 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Mayorga also pleaded guilty to petty theft in August, according to the Times.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said legislation should be passed to address these kinds of incidents.

“This is different than somebody just speeding. This is somebody who’s speeding with the intention of trying to provoke a high-speed chase,” Elrich said.

“This should not be treated as a regular type of traffic incident, and we should talk to our legislators about a way of criminalizing this in a different way.”

Elrich thanked Kepp for his service, adding, “This is a sacrifice he should not have had to make.”

Kepp has been with the police department since 2014.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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