A Washington state man who was incorrectly identified as a suspect in an assault on May 10, is now clinging to life in critical condition.
Christopher Harris, a 29-year-old Edmonds man is in a coma, with skull fractures after being pushed into a wall by a King County sheriff's deputy working the Metro Transit overnight shift on foot patrol. Harris had started to run after deputies ordered him to 'stop,' and sustained his injuries after deputies caught up with him near a Seattle 'Cinerama.' It remains unclear why Harris decided to run.
After Harris is slammed into the wall, the deputy then drags him away from the wall by one arm, and attempts to handcuff him before seeming to realize the seriousness of Harris' injuries and calling for help.
The King County sheriff's department released a surveillance video, along with their internal investigation results of the incident last week. The investigation of their deputy found in a preliminary review that he 'appeared' to have acted lawfully. SeattlePI reports:
A Metro Transit police officer appears to have acted lawfully when he plowed into an Edmonds man during a foot pursuit in Belltown this month and caused the man's head to slam against a wall, the King County Sheriff's Office reported Thursday.
Christopher Harris, 29, has been in a coma since May 10, the day that he inexplicably ran from two police officers who were incorrectly told that Harris was involved in a robbery at a convenience store at Second Avenue and Bell Street.
After announcing the investigation's results, the Sheriff's Office released video from three security cameras that captured the chase, including the final seconds when Deputy Matt Paul overtook Harris and shoved him into a wall at the Seattle Cinerama Theater at Fourth Avenue and Lenora Street.
A Sheriff's Office spokesman said that upon a preliminary review, the deputy's conduct appears to be lawful. The investigation, however, will be reviewed by the Prosecutor's Office, Sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart said during a news conference at the alley where the chase started.
"We're looking at this as a tragic accident. Nothing more than that," he said.
The sheriff's department is expected to conduct another investigation to determine if the deputy involved followed departmental policies, and is continuing to seek more witnesses in the case.
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