An Lexington police officer failed to put his car completely in park, and in a scramble to stop the car, he hit the accelerator instead of the brake, sending the vehicle into a suspect and a building, according to newly released police documents.
Officer Justin Burnett was at Southland Shopping Center on Monday responding to a report of a man talking to himself and being disorderly, according to the accident report.
The man, identified as David Schlechty, was arrested on a charge of second-degree disorderly conduct, handcuffed and placed on the curb in front of the Family Dollar store, Cmdr. Thomas Curtsinger said previously.
After handcuffing Schlechty, Burnett moved his car, Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said. It appeared Burnett was moving the car closer to Schlechty, according to court records.
Because the cruiser was not completely in park when Burnett left the car, it began to roll forward, according to the report. When Burnett got back in the car to apply the brakes, he hit the accelerator instead.
The car hit Schlechty and crashed into the store, breaking glass, shattering bricks and knocking over trash cans, Curtsinger said previously.
After the crash, Burnett called over the police radio: "I was pulling my car forward. It slipped out of gear. I hit the building and the suspect."
Burnett administered first aid to Schlechty, who was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, according to the collision report. Schlechty has since been released, hospital spokeswoman Julie Phillips said.
Burnett was shaken up but was OK, Curtsinger said.
"The Lexington Police Department places the highest priority on the safety of our citizens, our officers and on protecting property," Roberts said. "Our investigation is continuing to ensure we understand exactly what happened; we want to prevent this sort of incident from occurring in the future."
The investigation is continuing, and Burnett remains in his regular assignment in west sector patrol, Roberts said.