Police officer dragged by car during traffic stop
Published 5:01 pm, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
A town police officer was injured last Thursday evening when the driver of a vehicle he had pulled over took his foot off the brake.
The officer, who police identified as Lt. Fred Pickering, a 28-year-veteran of the department, was dragged about 35 feet and sustained injuries to his knees, neck and back. He was treated and released from Norwalk Hospital.
The incident began at about 6:10 p.m. last Thursday, when New Canaan police received a 911 call that a person threatening suicide was traveling on Old Stamford Road with his headlights off.
The car, a 2004 Volkswagon Jetta, was spotted and stopped on Old Stamford Road north of Weed Street. The driver, Erik Kuranko, would not roll down the window, unlock the door or show his hands, police said. Officers, concerned that he might have a weapon, broke the driver's side window and one reached into the car.
As officers reached in to remove the driver's seat belt, the suspect took his foot off the brake and pressed the accelerator, police said.
The operator was pulled from the car, and while the vehicle was in motion the officer's arm was caught in the seat belt. The officer was dragged approximately 35 feet before the vehicle hit a snowbank and stopped.
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Kuranko was taken into custody and transported to Norwalk Hospital, where he was treated and released.
A knife was in the center console area of the vehicle, police said.
Kuranko was charged with assault on a police officer, interfering with a police officer, weapon in a motor vehicle and reckless driving. He was held on $15,000 bond.