CCTV:(Released 24/08)The moment a banned motorist drove straight at a police officer in an attempt to avoid arrest has been captured on CCTV cameras.
The footage shows Sgt Garry Johnson making a split-second decision to try to leap out of the path of the VW Golf, driven by 20-year-old Ross Sterland, rather than risk serious injury.
Sgt Johnson was left with only bruises after he was struck by the car.
Police today released the footage of the collision, which happened in Church Gate, Leicester, in the early hours of Friday, May 30.
Sgt Johnson, who had his arms in the air to signal Sterland to pull over, said his injuries could have been far worse.
A judge who jailed Sterland for 18 months last week also said the 37-year-old officer was lucky he has not been dragged under the car.
Sgt Johnson said: "I had to make a decision to jump or go under. I jumped and went over the bonnet. It could have been much more serious.
"I was bruised and I asked the custody nurse to look me over, but I was okay and I was able to finish my shift. We wanted to stop the vehicle because it had failed to stop for officers the week before.
"My colleague, who was driving, stopped our car to block the road and I got out to flag him (Sterland) down.
"The car had stopped and another officer opened one of its doors, but then it drove off and started to come toward me."
Sterland mounted a pavement to drive between a police car and a wall in a crowded part of Church Gate.
Sterland, of Tudor Road, Leicester, then turned the wrong way into a road and came to a stop after hitting three other vehicles.
He jumped out, leaving his passengers, and tried to run away. Three officers caught him nearby.
Sterland gave police a false name – but was recognised by an officer when he was taken into custody.
He admitted dangerous driving, assault and driving while disqualified.
Sgt Johnson, who has been with Leicestershire police for seven years, having spent 12 years with Royal Air Force Police, said he was happy with the sentence imposed.
City centre police commander, Inspector Chris Brown, said: "This incident brings home the dangers police face every day. Fortunately, Garry wasn't injured seriously.
"I'm pleased this sentence has been passed. It sends out a clear message that courts will not tolerate this type of behaviour."
Dave Grenz, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: "There was a time when only serious criminals would set out to injure an officer in this way. Incidents such as this demonstrate the erosion of respect for police."
Jailing Sterland at Leicester Crown Court last week, Recorder Michael Fowler told him: "It's fortunate he went over the bonnet rather than under the wheels."
Tags: Disqualified, motorist, tries, to, run, down, police, officer
Location: Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
Marked as: approved, featured
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