Witnesses aid police in capture of hit-and-run driver - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Witnesses aid police in capture of hit-and-run driver

Police investigate the scene where the officer was struck. Police investigate the scene where the officer was struck.
Lt. Gregory Quinn Lt. Gregory Quinn
Police apprehended the suspects on Bill Morris Parkway, near Riverdale. Police apprehended the suspects on Bill Morris Parkway, near Riverdale.
The officer, Lt. Gregory Quinn, is taken into The MED. The officer, Lt. Gregory Quinn, is taken into The MED.

YOU CAN WATCH VIDEO COVERAGE AND RAW VIDEO RECORDED FROM CHOPPER 5 IN THE PLAYER TO THE RIGHT OF THIS STORY>>>

Witnesses played a vital role as Memphis Police apprehended three male suspects Thursday morning after their car struck a motorcycle officer stopped at a red light.

Witness Michael Cooperwood said it all happened suddenly.

"A car came in and plowed in behind him and hit him and knocked him off the motorcycle," Cooperwood said.

The incident happened around 11:00 a.m. near the intersection of Lamar and Democrat. Cooperwood said the suspects, driving a Buick LaSabre, sent the officer flying.

"He actually went a few feet in the air, and came down, and the bike came down on him," he said.

Cooperwood immediately ran to help the officer.

"He was talking back to me," he said. "I was trying to make sure he was conscious, and that he was able to talk."

After striking the officer, the driver of the Buick allegedly fled the scene. Memphis Police Major Johnny Currin said civilian witnesses to the accident followed the suspects for miles.

"They utilized the cell phone and phoned the information in, pretty much like a police radio, providing us information as to direction and speed of the suspects," he said.

Witnesses, and later police, pursued the suspects to the Riverdale exit of Bill Morris Parkway, where they were taken into custody.

"We don't suggest you get so heavily involved," Currin said. "But the nature of humans is to care and to render aid whenever possible, especially in a situation such as this."

The officer, identified as Lt. Gregory Quinn, was in stable condition after being struck. He was transported to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis for treatment.

Late Thursday, police charged Avenamar Parez, 21, with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries involved, disregarding a traffic signal, no driver's license, and driving an unregistered vehicle.

Police said no other charges were expected to be filed in the case.

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