Gary man accused of punching police officer in traffic stop - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Gary man accused of punching police officer in traffic stop

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GARY, Ind. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Four felony charges, including disarming a law enforcement officer and resisting law enforcement, have been filed in Lake Superior Court against a 51-year-old Gary man who grabbed an officer's pistol and drove a pickup with the officer hanging on to an open door.

Linzell Davell Brooks faces a maximum eight-year sentence on the most serious of the charges filed in an incident that took place Monday morning in Gary.

Griffith Police Patrolman Robert Hemphill was working Operation Pullover, a traffic enforcement program, at about 11 a.m. at 21st Avenue and Grant Street in Gary when he tried to pull over a Dodge pickup that had an expired license plate.

According to the court documents, Brooks, the driver, gave a false name, then pulled away down an alley and parked behind a business. Hemphill followed as Brooks jumped out of the truck and walked quickly, then stopped.

Hemphill ordered Brooks to the rear of his truck, but he allegedly ran toward the open driver's door, started the truck and tried to pull away. Hemphill drew his service weapon and ordered Brooks to stop, but Brooks ignored the command, put the truck in reverse and began backing up, according to police. Hemphill was struck on the left side by the open door and had to hang onto it to avoid being struck.

Brooks then allegedly grabbed Hemphill's right hand and the gun and pulled the officer toward him.

As the men struggled over the gun, Brooks said he would stop. Hemphill pulled his weapon away from Brooks and turned off the truck ignition, but Brooks tried to restart the truck. As Hemphill tried to reach the key, Brooks allegedly punched him in the face several times, then again tried to grab Hemphill's weapon while it was in its holster.

Meanwhile, a concerned citizen who saw the struggle used Hemphill's police car radio to call for assistance. Hemphill managed to place Brooks into the police car.

Brooks' driving privileges were suspended.

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