STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) –– There were prayers Thursday evening for a critically injured police officer, hurt earlier in the day chasing down a suspect along Interstate-95 in Connecticut.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, that officer underwent three separate surgeries.
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It started as a high-speed chase along I-95, a wild pursuit on and off the highway, from Stamford, through Darien and into Norwalk, where a foot chase followed.
It ended with 38-year-old Stamford Police Officer Troy Strauser in critical condition at Norwalk Hospital. A tense vigil was underway Thursday night as fellow cops re-ran the sequence of events over and over.
“The suspect happened to jump onto solid ground. Officer Strauser caught the edge of the embankment and just went down from there and I believe it was a 20-, 20-plus foot drop to the pavement below,” Sgt. Joseph Kennedy said.
“I trained Troy and he has a heart of gold. He did his job,” Officer Bob Somadi added.
Police said Officer Strauser was chasing suspect Frank Douglas when he fell. Police said the car Douglas was in had its tires blown out by stop spikes officers had deployed. The car finally crashed in Norwalk, police said.
That’s where the car chase ended but the foot chase continued, over I-95 until the suspect jumped over a fence and into a wooded area with Officer Strauser in pursuit, police said. The officer then fell and injured himself on the embankment, and the suspect ran across all six lanes of traffic to the other side where he was captured by Officer Seth O’Brien and his K-9 companion “Cooper,” police said.
“Without Cooper I don’t think we would’ve found him. It was his nose that led him through the thick brush to where the suspect was hiding,” Officer O’Brien said.
With the suspect to face arraignment, a small army of police officers was expected to be there when he went in front of the judge.
Officer Strauser is married with three children. He sustained internal injuries as well as injuries to his face and arm, police said.
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