Officer improving, search for suspect in hit-and-run continues - FOX 32 News Chicago

Officer improving, search for suspect in hit-and-run continues

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Thomas Paige Thomas Paige
Jabari Jackson Jabari Jackson

A Clayton County police officer remains in serious condition at an area hospital while his colleagues hunt down the driver who allegedly hit him.

FOX 5 has learned the injured officer's name is Michael Hooks. Clayton County authorities said on Thursday that Hooks is apparently improving at Atlanta Medical Center.

According to arrest warrants obtained by FOX 5, Hooks suffered two broken ribs and internal injuries after being hit by a vehicle on Wednesday.

Fellow officers visited Hooks at the hospital on Thursday.

"At this point we want to make sure that our prayers go out to his family and the others surrounding the law enforcement community," said Clayton County Police Chief Gregory Porter.

Porter described Hooks as a "very good police officer" who has been with the department for more than four years.

Hooks was responding to a burglary call at an abandoned K-Mart distribution center on Old Dixie Highway and Interstate 75 Frontage Road. Major Rick Webster of the Clayton County Police Department said that some men were possibly stealing metal from the center when the Hooks arrived.

When the responding officer approached a truck possibly connected to the burglary, the vehicle struck the officer, witnesses said.

The truck drove off and was later abandoned after getting stuck.

Police say Thomas Paige Jabari Jackson ran from the vehicle. Jackson 31, was later caught, but Paige escaped. Police say Jackson is facing charges of loitering, prowling and obstruction.

Jackson made his first court appearance on Thursday.

Police believe Paige was the driver who hit the officer. FOX 5 has confirmed that Paige was charged earlier in the year in an incident where he allegedly tried to run over several police officers in Clayton County.

Paige, the man accused of hitting the officer, is still on the run. He apparently has an extensive criminal history -- everything from burglary to breaking into vehicles to peeping tom.

Paige is wanted on several charges, including aggravated assault on a peace officer, aggravated battery on a peace officer, felony hit and run, and felony obstruction of justice. Authorities consider Paige armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on Paige's whereabouts is urged to contact the Clayton County Police Department at 770-473-3915.

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