Police Arrest Suspect in Overbrook Cop-Dragging Incident

Cops say the driver hit the gas when an officer on overnight patrol made a routine traffic stop. He was eventually arrested in East Falls after eluding several other officers.

Kevin Cooke

Kevin Cooke

Philadelphia Police have arrested a 52-year-old Cheltenham resident in connection with an incident in the overnight hours of Sunday where a routine traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase that had the officer who made the stop hanging on for dear life at the outset.

According to the police report, two officers on overnight patrol stopped a silver Infiniti driving without headlights near 60th Street and Lancaster Avenue. When the officer on the driver’s side of the car approached, the driver allegedly ducked over to the passenger side, then got up again in the driver’s seat without license or vehicle registration. When the officer requested his license and paperwork, he said he noticed a strong smell of alcohol coming from both the driver and the inside of the car.

The officer noticed the driver’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot, continues the report, so he asked the driver to relax and shut off his car. Instead, the driver reportedly reached for the gearshift, put the car in gear and accelerated, knocking the driver’s-side officer off balance as the car turned left; in order to keep from being run over, the officer grabbed the side of the car as it turned onto Lancaster Avenue and sped off, with the officer yelling for the driver to stop. When the car straightened out, the officer let go and fell to the pavement, skidding another 20 feet. He then radioed the car’s description to other officers in the area.

Thirty minutes later, other officers spotted the car near City and Belmont avenues and attempted to stop it in the parking lot of the Target store at City Avenue and Monument Road without success. A short time after that, officers were notified that the car was involved in an accident near Ridge Avenue and Kelly Drive.

The suspect got out of the car and fled on foot towards Ridge Avenue; this time, the cops were able to catch him after a brief chase on foot from the Legacy Youth Tennis courts on Ridge Avenue.

After the officer who made the stop and his partner positively identified him, police arrested 52-year-old Kevin Cooke of Cheltenham and charged him with aggravated assault, simple assault, driving without a license and related offenses.

The officer did not sustain injuries, said police, but his equipment, boots and firearm had visible damage from sliding on the highway.

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