BPD Chief: “By the Grace of God We Did Not Lose an Officer”
"We are very fortunate that we are not planning a funeral right now, because that's how close that was to losing an officer."
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John says the wounded officer with the Billings Police Department "is in good spirits," especially following a serious surgery for a "catastrophic injury." This following a deliberate attack on the BPD officer over the weekend:
Chief St. John: I'm convinced that knowing the officer that I do that he's gonna get on the mend and get back at it as quickly as he can. He's not one to be laying around too long. Nonetheless, we are very fortunate that we are not planning a funeral right now, because that's how close that was to losing an officer.
Chief St. John describes it as a "calculated, deliberate attack:"
(The assailant)...struck our car, struck him, and then continued on north on Bernard until they ultimately crashed. And then they all bailed out of the car and took off running and we were able to catch all of them as officers responded to the scene. And it is by the grace of God that we didn't lose an officer."
Click below for the full interview with Chief St. John and Montana Talks host Aaron Flint:
A 14-year old male has been charged with attempted deliberate homicide, following a hit and run involving a Billings Police officer early Saturday morning (2/15).
According to a BPD press release, a vehicle that fled officers earlier in the evening was located in the area of Bernard, south of Monad, around 1:12am on Saturday.
Officers were in the process of giving commands to the occupants of the vehicle, which was stopped facing officers, when the vehicle accelerated and drove straight at officers. The vehicle struck a BPD officer causing serious but non-life threatening injury. The officer was transported to a local medical facility by ambulance for injuries requiring surgery
The vehicle fled the scene and crashed just north of where the officer was hit. Six juveniles ran from the scene and were apprehended nearby. Five of the youths were females between 13 and 16 years of age.
BPD reports the 14-year old male driver of the vehicle was remanded into youth services and charged with attempted deliberate homicide.
The injured Billings Police officer was transported to the hospital for injuries requiring surgery, according to the press release. While the name of the officer was not released, BPD did say the officer is 35-years old, and has been on the force for six years.
An investigation remains on going.
Initial Tweet information from the BPD indicated the officer who was struck was attempting to deploy stop sticks. That information is not accurate. The officer was giving commands as the vehicle was stopped and was not actively fleeing at the time. -Billings Police Department