A suspect accused of seriously wounding a Chicago cop during a traffic stop claims he panicked after smoking marijuana while driving with a suspended license, prosecutors said.
Aaron Okelola, 25, is facing felony charges of attempted murder of a police officer and misdemeanor fleeing and eluding in the late Monday incident in the city’s Princeton Park section, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that surveillance footage and the officer’s bodycam shows Okelola’s 2008 Chevy Impala speeding off during a traffic stop with the 30-year-old cop’s body halfway inside the vehicle while clinging to its door and dashboard.
Okelola’s Impala then crossed three lanes of oncoming traffic and a concrete median before hitting a metal beam at an elevated train station, sending the officer into a cement wall, prosecutors said.
The force of the impact fractured the officer’s skull in three places. The four-year veteran had surgery to relieve swelling in his skull and also had a broken jaw, the newspaper reported.
Okelola, of Chicago, allegedly admitted to dragging the officer, telling investigators following his arrest he was frightened to go jail after smoking marijuana in the car while driving with a suspended license.
“Stop the car, buddy, I got the wheel!” the officer said to Okelola during the encounter, according to Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy.
The officer, who has not been identified by the department, was listed in good condition at a hospital Thursday, Chicago police told The Post.
A court-appointed attorney for Okelola — an electrician’s apprentice who has two children — sought bail during a hearing Wednesday, but a judge denied that request, the Tribune reported.
“He can keep his 10,000 [dollars] – he won’t need it,” Judge John Lyke Jr. said while denying Okelola bail and calling him a danger to the public.
Okelola, who is set to return to court next month, faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted. He’s also facing charges of driving with a suspended license and various traffic citations, police said.
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