Hartford officer injured in crash, 2 people taken into custody

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HARTFORD — A Hartford Police officer was injured Wednesday afternoon in a crash at the intersection of Summit and Zion streets.

At 12:25 p.m. officers reported that the driver of a white Honda Civic was operating recklessly on Summit Street. A Hartford officer responded to the area, and was stationary at the intersection when the Civic hit it head-on.

The injured officer was treated by EMTs on the scene and then taken to the hospital by ambulance, as was the passenger in the Civic.

The driver of the Civic, Eric Rivera, 22, of Hartford, was arrested and charged with reckless driving, reckless endangerment in the first degree, assault on police, unregistered motor vehicle, insufficient insurance, misuse of license plate, failure to display front license plate and failure to obey officer’s signal.

Witnesses tell Fox CT that the scene was “like an action movie.”

“I got front row seats to a huge accident,” said John Anchico, who was loading equipment into his car when he said he saw the suspect fly by.

“He was doing at least, I want to say, 45, 50, 60 max, but he had his lead foot on the ground,” Anchico said.

At least two other witnesses, as well as a Fox CT crew in the area for a different story, said they saw multiple police cars roll up to the accident scene seconds after it occurred.

Dep. Chief Brian Foley did not go so far as to call the incident a "police pursuit." He said the lead-up to the crash is still being investigated.

"It's way too early to know exactly what unfolded, whether someone was behind him, whether the lights and sirens were activated yet," said Foley. "We do a special investigative report and that includes a supervisor's analysis to see if there was any violation of policy."

Foley did say officers had been looking for the suspect and his car earlier in the day after reports of an erratic driver. He said investigators spotted the man in the area of Trinity College and set up stop sticks.  The crash happened after that.