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Man charged with hitting cop with car

January 16, 1997

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

FREDERICK, Md. - A Frederick man was charged late Tuesday with striking a city police officer with his car, according to police.

James Vincent Finnegan, 51, of the 200 block of Locust Street, was charged with a long list of offenses: negligent driving, two counts of failing to drive in a single lane, reckless driving, hit and run, fleeing and eluding, DWI, driving without a license, driving in violation of an alcohol restriction, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and resisting arrest.

Police said the incident began when Cpl. W. Allen Yingling Jr. pulled over a car on the 200 block of West Patrick Street at about 11 p.m. after the car ran onto the median strip.

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After stopping the vehicle, Yingling smelled alcohol on the driver's breath, police said. The driver's speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and watery, police said.

Yingling ordered the driver to turn the car off, and he took several steps to the rear of the car. The driver allegedly started the car and turned the vehicle into the officer, police said.

Yingling was struck in the right thigh by the car, which was spinning its wheels in the snow, police said. Yingling grabbed the driver through the window and ordered him to stop the car, police said. The driver refused and pulled onto the second lane of West Patrick Street, dragging the officer with him, police said.

Yingling finally managed to maneuver the car into neutral, police said. At this point, he unholstered his gun and ordered the driver to stop. Three other officers arrived and removed the driver from the car, police said.

The driver would not voluntarily release his grip on the steering wheel and officers forcibly removed both hands from the wheel, police said.

A review of Finnegan's driving record revealed that his license had been revoked due to an alcohol-related offense, police said in court documents.

Yingling was treated at Frederick Memorial Hospital for injuries to his left arm and released, police said. He returned to administrative duties for the rest of the day, police said.

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