Raleigh, N.C. — A police cruiser struck a Raleigh police officer Tuesday morning as he and another officer struggled with a man during an arrest, police said.
The incident took place on Camden Street near its intersection with East Martin Street, east of downtown, shortly after 11 a.m., police said.
Officers A.R. Caruana and K.C. Heckman were observing drug activity as part of an ongoing street-level drug enforcement effort when they saw someone being robbed, police said. As the officers tried to arrest the thief, they fell toward a patrol car arriving to provide assistance, police said.
The trio hit the side of the cruiser, knocking the mirror on the passenger side loose.
"The scary part was when they got hit," said Garth Bonner, who saw the entire incident while working nearby. "The police (were) wrestling with somebody down there, and the police car came up trying to cut the van from coming out. Momentum sent both of them into the street, and they both got hit by the police car."
Eddie Keith, 33, has been charged with strong-arm robbery in connection with the incident.
Brenda Jones, who rushed to the scene after hearing about the incident, said Keith is her son and has a history of drug problems.
"I've been trying to talk to him. I've been trying to talk to him to stay away from Martin Street and trying to get him help. He's just getting out of the drug place," Jones said.
Neither of the officers nor Keith was seriously injured, but Caruana and Keith were taken to WakeMed for treatment. Keith was later taken to the Wake County Jail.
Officer J.C. Willauer, who was driving the patrol car, won't face any disciplinary action or charges in the case, police said.