By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer
A Clovis police officer was injured while making an arrest Saturday night and will be off duty for nine to 12 weeks.
Officer Robert Denney called dispatchers about 11:15 p.m. Saturday to report he had begun a pursuit after seeing a 2001 Ford Escort driving southbound on Main Street. He reported the vehicle was traveling about 75 mph near Kimberly Street, where the speed limit is 35 mph, reports show.
In his report on the incident, a different officer wrote, “Officer Denney continued to pursue the vehicle south as it began to travel down a dirt alleyway. The vehicle continued to attempt to elude Officer Denney and did so in a careless manner which could have endangered the life of another.”
The driver of the vehicle complied with police orders to lie down on the ground, but the passenger refused to comply and was taken to the ground by Denney after another officer arrived, according to the police report. During the arrest Denney sustained fractures to his right hand and was taken to Plains Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Clovis Police Chief Bill Carey said Denney’s fractures were to bones between the knuckles and the wrist of the second and third fingers of his right hand.
“Probably when he went to the ground he fell funny and rolled over on his hand,” Carey said. “He will have to have surgery and will be out a number of weeks.”
Carey said that to his knowledge the suspect received no injuries.
According to the police report, the vehicle passenger who resisted Denney’s efforts to arrest him faces three misdemeanor charges of resisting, evading, or obstructing an officer, possession of marijuana less than one ounce, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The driver, who was not involved in Denney’s injuries, faces charges of aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, possession of marijuana less than one ounce, and possession of drug paraphernalia.