Driver arrested in crash that hurt Denver cop during protest

AP News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2015 6:25 PM

DENVER (AP) — A driver who struck and seriously injured a Denver police officer during a protest over police killings would not have been issued a driver's license if he had been honest about his history of seizures when he applied, police wrote in an affidavit supporting the man's arrest Wednesday.

Christopher Booker, 42, apparently suffered a seizure on Dec. 3, when he struck John Adsit and other officers who were monitoring a protest of hundreds of high school students through the streets of Denver, authorities said.

The case rattled nerves because it came at a time of heightened tensions over attacks on police elsewhere in the country after grand juries declined to indict white officers in the killings of unarmed black men. Police Sgt. Mike Farr said Booker knew his medical condition made him a danger on the road, but investigators found no evidence that he deliberately tried to harm Adsit, who was hospitalized for more than two months.

Police arrested Booker on 20 counts of charges including felony assault, forgery and attempting to influence a public servant, saying he lied to workers at the Department of Motor Vehicles at least nine times by denying he suffers seizures. Court records don't list an attorney for Booker, who remained in jail Wednesday evening.

Adsit, who was pushed up onto the car's hood, then trapped and dragged underneath it, suffered broken bones, a punctured lung, a severed artery in his leg, internal bleeding and other injuries.

"I'd be lying if I said it's not emotional," said Detective Robert Freund, one of the investigators who spent months poring over Booker's medical records and interviewing doctors before the arrest. "It was a horrific accident. It came without warning for these bicycle officers."

Other officers said Booker was unresponsive and appeared to have suffered a seizure when they found him in his car after the crash, according to the affidavit. He later told investigators he took medication for seizures and had had one less than a month before the December protest.