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A police officer left a suspect with multiple fractures and a collapsed lung because he was driving ‘too close’ to his bicycle in a chase, a court heard today.
28-year-old PC Eugene Acheampong and a colleague were responding to reports of two men breaking into cars in Wood Green, north London, on August 3, 2019.
When Arnold Taylor tried to bike away, PC Acheampong collided with him and ran him over in his patrol car.
PC Acheampong had been involved in a one-minute chase, between 2:53 PM and 2:54 PM, before hitting Taylor on Hawkepark Road.
Taylor was assisted by the police and an ambulance, before being transferred to the Royal London Hospital.
He suffered injuries that included extensive soft tissue in the head and face, a displaced fracture in the lateral arch of the jaw, and dental fractures.
He also suffered rib and spinal fractures along with a collapsed lung.
Prosecutor Daniel Fugallo said the officer was behind the wheel of a marked police BMW.
PC Acheampong, of Essex, denies charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving
The accusation is that PC Acheampong was following that man in his police car so closely behind him and at such speed, it was dangerous.
And because he was driving dangerously this way, he ended up flipping the bike over and driving his police car right on top of the bike and right on top of Mr. Taylor, causing serious injuries.
“That afternoon, police officers received a report of two men walking on nearby Sirdar Road trying to get into parked cars,” added Mr. Fugallo.
“It was on Sirdar Road, officers heard a report that there were two men acting suspiciously around the cars.
“PC Acheampong, in a marked BMW, drove to the scene in response to that report and had a colleague with him.wikipedia
“They went to Rusper Road and there they saw two men who fit the descriptions of the two men they were supposed to watch.”
PC Acheampong stopped the car on Rusper Road and his colleague got out to talk to the men before Mr. Taylor set off on his bike.
Mr. Fugallo continued: “As the bike was traveling down Sirdar Road towards Hawkepark Road, the car caught up with the bike, so the bike was directly in front of the car.
“He followed the bike down Hawkepark Road, reaching a speed of 29 mph before braking and slowing down to 27 mph.”
He said the officer “ran over” the bicyclist.
“PC Acheampong stayed at the scene and an ambulance attended the scene and took Mr Taylor to the Royal London Hospital.”
Jurors were shown CCTV footage capturing the moment Mr. Arnold’s bicycle passed under the BMW.
Images of the dead bodies of PC Acheampong were also shown, recording him following Mr. Arnold in his car, as well as at the time of the collision and when his car stopped.
Following an investigation, Acheampon was interviewed on January 8, 2020, the court heard.
Mr. Fugallo said: “He agreed that he expected Mr. Arnold to give up and stop.
He said that he was just following him and that he applied the brakes regularly and said that Mr. Arnold seemed to disappear.
“ He felt his vehicle vibrate when he passed something and, at all times, he felt that he was driving in a safe and sensible manner.
“PC Acheampong accepts that he was driving on the road in question at the time in question.
He agrees that driving caused him injuries. He accepts that those injuries are serious. The only question for you to decide is, was the driving dangerous?
“The Crown says you drive at the speed you drive so close to Mr. Arnold, which means that if Mr. Arnold suddenly slowed down, a collision like the one that occurred was simply unavoidable.
“We say that the driving was well below what is expected of a careful and competent driver.”
Upon reading Taylor’s statement, the prosecutor said: “I was with a friend Christopher Beckwood. Chris was walking two or three meters ahead of me while I was riding the bike.
“As we were approaching an intersection, I saw a marked police car turning from Westbury Avenue.
‘I saw a police officer get out of the car and stop Chris. I turned around to pedal in the opposite direction.
“I saw the police car approaching at full speed. I don’t remember the aftermath. After getting hit from behind, my next memory is waking up in the hospital. ”
PC Acheampong, of Rainham, Essex, denies serious injuries caused by dangerous driving.
The trial continues.
PC Eugene Acheampong Quick and Facts
- PC Eugene Acheampong, 28, and a colleague were responding to break-in
- Arnold Taylor tried to ride away on a bike, PC Acheampong collided with him
- CCTV footage showed moment in which Mr Arnold’s bike went under the BMW
- Taylor suffered injuries including extensive soft tissues to the head and face
- PC Acheampong, of Essex, denies causing serious injury by dangerous driving