WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina police officer was injured late Sunday when his cruiser was hit by a man who was driving while impaired and fled the scene of the accident, authorities said.
Winston-Salem police Cpl. James B. Pleasant was driving his marked patrol car at an intersection near Interstate 40 and was going through the intersection when someone driving an SUV ran a red light and hit the passenger side of the cruiser, news outlets reported. Police said the impact caused a can of pepper spray to burst, and Pleasant was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Shortly after the accident, police were notified about a damaged SUV in a parking lot at a store near Hanes Mall. They found the suspect, Javier Gutierrez-Peralta, 37, of Lexington. Police said the damage to his vehicle was linked to evidence at the crash site.
Gutierrez-Peralta was charged with driving while impaired, and other traffic-related charges are pending, according to police.