SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A 19-year-old accused of recklessly driving a stolen car Tuesday night in Springfield injured three officers and crushed a police cruiser.
The 19-year-old driver, Daniel Walker, allegedly ran over the feet of a Springfield Police Officer and after a chase, rammed into a cruiser, totaling the car and injuring officers inside.
Walker and two 14-year-olds inside the vehicle were arrested Tuesday night in connection to the incident. According to Springfield Police, Walker was spotted in a Hyundai that was reported stolen earlier in the day, two 14-year-olds were allegedly in the vehicle with him. Officers pulled the vehicle over near Morris Street, with police cruisers positioned ahead and behind of the stolen vehicle.
“And when the officers approached the car, the car immediately jumped into reverse and it ran over one of the officer’s feet and crashed into the cruiser behind it and took off again,” Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood told 22News.
Police say Walker quickly drove away, through a stop sign, crashing into a police cruiser at the intersection of Morris and Central Street. Three of the four occupants of the vehicle ran; one remained inside the car, which then burst into flames. The injured officers in the crushed cruiser then rescued a 14-year-old still inside the burning vehicle.
“I am so proud of the officers and I am so thankful no one was seriously injured,” said Clapprood.
22News got to take a look at the cruiser that was t-boned and totaled Tuesday night in the incident. Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood called the incident eerily similar to the tragedy that took place in Hartford, where an 18-year-old took the life of Hartford Detective Bobby Garten on September 6th. Just last week, a Massachusetts State Trooper was dragged during a traffic stop on I-91 in Holyoke.
Superintendent Clapprood said Walker has three open criminal cases against him:
- Arrested in August 2022 with a firearm
- Arrested in June with connection to a stolen vehicle
- Has open charges from a hit and run in May
Walker was charges with 10 offenses, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and receiving a stolen motor vehicle. Walker was arraigned Wednesday, according to the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office. A dangerousness hearing has been scheduled for October 5th and until then, Walker is being held without the right to bail.
As for the three injured officers, they have since been released from the hospital.
Police are reminding owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles to purchase a highly visible wheel locking device. These models of vehicles have been the target of thefts over the last year.