PORTSMOUTH — A resident was arrested Tuesday for a charge alleging he struck a police officer, who was near his cruiser with the blue lights activated, but failed to stop at the scene, said police Lt. Timothy McCain.
Officer Jordan Wells had just cleared from a crash on Lafayette Road, then was dispatched to break up an altercation nearby, when a passing car struck him on one side at about 4:45 p.m., McCain said. Wells was hit by a mirror on the passing vehicle and saw it get pushed in, then go back out, according to police.
Wells then got into his cruiser, pursued the vehicle and stopped it farther down Lafayette Road, McCain said. The driver, Zhewei Wu, 23, of 42 Beechstone Apartments No. 4, admitted to Wells that he knew he'd struck him, but "panicked," McCain said. Wu was "profusely" apologetic and was arrested for a charge of conduct after an accident, according to police. Following his arrest, Wu was released on personal recognizance bail.
McCain said Wells went to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where he was medically evaluated and released. McCain said Wells was sore but returned to work at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.
McCain said Wells is a four-year veteran of the Police Department. He was decorated with a Lifesaving Award in August for administering first aid to a stabbing victim on Fleet Street. He said the incident mirrors national statistics that show police officers are most often hurt or killed in collisions or on traffic stops.
"When you're on the side of the road with your emergency lights activated, you don't expect to get hit," he said. "I'm glad there was no serious injury and we're glad to have (Wells) back."