Four Denver police officers, on bicycles on their way back from escorting hundreds of East High School students marching in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Mo., were struck by a car and injured, one of them, John Adsit, a nine-year veteran of the force, critically.
The officers were struck as they monitored the students, in plain view of dozens of students and bystanders who watched in horror as the officers were run down by the black Mercedes. One of the officers was dragged under the black sedan for dozens of yards.
“He was just lying there,” Taylor Ellison, a sophomore at the high school, said of one injured officer. “His pants were ripped. He wasn’t moving.”
Witnesses say the Mercedes — driven by a man in his late 40s — accelerated west through the intersection of Colfax Avenue and High Street into the officers and a group of pedestrians before slamming into an SUV in a Taco Bell parking lot nearby where it came to rest.
While many speculated on Wednesday about what prompted the acceleration, authorities did not release an official determination. Denver Police Cmdr. Matt Murray said early Wednesday evening that police believe the driver had a medical incident before crashing into the officers.
The officers and the driver were transported to Denver Health.
DPD tweeted that Adsit was coming out of surgery at 6:18 p.m., adding that while he was still in critical condition, he was considered “stable.”
White said this was “not our best day.”
Police said on Twitter that the officer was “not out of the woods, but early updates … is promising.” They also posted that three of the officers have been released from the hospital.
A tweet from the DPD at about 5:45 p.m., quoted Adsit’s family as thanking the public for its thoughts and prayers.
“Please continue to pray as we trust the Lord for a complete recovery,” the tweet read.
Four mangled bicycles were seen on the north side of Colfax Avenue between High Street and Williams Street. A nurse on the scene was covered in blood, and a wide area was cordoned off by police.
Colfax was closed in both directions in a five-block area at the High Street intersection for much of the afternoon, reopening before 4 p.m. About three dozen police vehicles, ambulances and fire trucks were at the scene.
Courtesy of Denver Post