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Two Cecil County Sheriffs struck by car while responding to domestic violence call

Posted at 5:52 PM, Nov 01, 2018

Two Cecil County Sheriffs were struck by a car while responding to a domestic dispute Wednesday in Elkton, the sheriff's office said.

Corporal Jonathan Pristash and Corporal Mark Messner responded to the 100 block of Avalon Avenue, where a woman had called 911 saying that the man who was with her at the residence, 36-year-old Angel Louis Rodriguez, attacked her. She said Rodriguez put his hands around her neck and tried to choke her after the two had argued inside the house. She said he tried to punch her several times, blocking the strikes with her arms and eventually escaping to the bathroom where she called for help. At that time that Rodriguez had left the residence in his Volkswagen Jetta. She said he had been drinking for most of the day.

The deputies saw she had bruises on her arms consistent with defensive injuries, police said. 

The deputies then saw the Volkswagen driving fast through the neighborhood before entering the driveway. Aware that children were in the area trick-or-treating, Pristash approached the car, trying to make contact with Rodriguez, police said, but Rodriguez locked the door and tried to put the car in gear as Pristash ordered him out of the vehicle several times.

Pristash eventually tried to reach into the car to prevent it from being put in motion, at which point Rodriguez put the car in gear, dragging Pristash, who was partly inside the car. Messner came to try to help, getting hit by the car's open passenger door as it moved. Pristash continued his struggle, eventually getting himself and Rodriguez out of the vehicle. Pristash was struck by the car in the process of that struggle as well.

With no driver, Messner saw the car heading towards the roadway and potential pedestrians, but he was able to catch up to the vehicle and turn the wheel, letting the car careen across a nearby yard, striking a Delmarva utility box and finally stopping when it hit a parked, unoccupied GMC Yukon. Messner was struck by the car again in the process.

Meanwhile, Pristash continued to try to put Rodriguez under arrest, but Rodriguez resisted, attempting to grab the officer's firearm from its holster, sheriffs said. Rodriguez was finally able to be placed in custody, and Messner and Pristash were taken to Union Hospital for treatment. Rodriguez was taken to the same hospital for treatment, eventually being sent to Maryland Shock Trauma, where he remains hospitalized.

While Rodriguez receives medical treatment, a warrant was issued for the following charges: two counts of first degree assault, three counts of second degree assault, two counts of second degree assault of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, attempt to disarm a law enforcement officer, three counts of obstructing and hindering, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a suspended license and privilege, reckless driving, and negligent driving. The warrant will be served when Rodriguez is released.