Drug-Sale Suspect Wounded! 

Drug-Sale Suspect Wounded! 
Posted by FoM on March 08, 1999 at 07:09:17 PT

WICKLIFFE - A Cuyahoga County man was in satisfactory condition yesterday in MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland after he was shot by Wickliffe police during a suspected drug sale around 7 p.m. Friday.
The 19-year-old was shot once in the chest in a parking lot behind Denny's Restaurant, 28707 Euclid Ave. He was taken to LakeWest Hospital and later flown to MetroHealth after police discovered he had ingested cocaine, police said.Wickliffe Police Chief James Fox said the man was shot in his car after he rammed a cruiser blocking his path and raced his car backward in an apparent attempt to run over several police officers."He tried to flee police and raced backwards putting officers in harm's way. He almost crushed a couple of officers," Fox said. "The officer did an excellent job of stopping an immediate threat to others."Fox said the officer who fired the shots was placed on administrative leave for three days. The leave is standard procedure in any police shooting. Fox would not identify the officer until the shooting is reviewed by the city law director and other officials.Seven Lake County Narcotics Agency officers and seven Wickliffe officers were on the scene, Fox said. Wickliffe officers were asked to assist in the arrest after undercover drug agents had bought $600 worth of crack cocaine from the man. Narcotics agents had made three previous crack cocaine buys from the man.Fox said that once the sale was completed, agents identified themselves as police and pulled their guns.The man, who was in his car, sped backward, smashing a Wickliffe police cruiser. Several officers were on foot behind the car, and one officer fell while trying to avoid the car.The man was shot in the chest but was not seriously injured, Fox said."The bullet lodged in his chest muscle," said Fox, adding that rescue workers were more concerned about the cocaine he was seen ingesting in an effort to keep it from police.A nursing supervisor at MetroHealth said the man had no significant injuries.Fox said Denny's customers were kept inside for a short time during the arrest and while officers searched the area as a precaution.Police are expected to file charges tomorrow.©1999 THE PLAIN DEALER. Used with permission.
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