Benton Harbor officer accused of hitting fleeing suspect with squad car

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(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — An officer who authorities say ran over a man who was fleeing police in southwestern Michigan has been charged with assault.

The Berrien County prosecutor’s office says Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety officers were investigating a possible stolen lawn mower about 1:45 a.m. May 10 when they came upon a man who was riding a bike without a light.

The prosecutor’s office says the man dropped the bike and ran before Steven Johnson, who no longer works for the department, intentionally hit him with a squad car.

Defense lawyer Marc Curtis told ABC 57 Johnson didn’t mean to hit the man.

Investigators reviewed police car video and body camera footage. The 51-year-old Sturgis man was arraigned Wednesday. The man who fled pleaded guilty to charges including resisting police.

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