ATV driver wanted after dragging Nashville police officer
Outrage continued to grow Monday as video circulated across the country of a rogue off-road-vehicle driver dragging a police officer along one of Nashville’s busiest uptown streets.
The officer, Sgt. John Bourque, was released Sunday from a hospital and is recovering at home, according to a tweet posted by the Metropolitan Nashville Police. The extent of his injuries were not released.
Bourque was struck and dragged on Broadway by the all-terrain vehicle Saturday afternoon, as dozens of people looked on from the sidewalk, video shows.
The search for the driver continued Monday, as new surveillance photos were released by police, along with a plea for help to identify the suspect.
A statement issued by the Fraternal Order of Police referred to the incident as “lawlessness” and insisted Nashville’s leadership must send a message that such a “blatant disregard for the safety of our community and those who serve it cannot be tolerated,” according to TV station WSMV.
“When you find them, cuff them to the back of a patrol car and drag them to the station!” tweeted Jason George.
“How long before a citizen or officer loses their life from these hooligans?” tweeted Leo Sochocki. “How long till one of us gets so angry at the disregard for others that the matter becomes a vigilante response? Do something.”
“They need to be put down fast!” tweeted Peter M.
“Crimes like this make me long for the days of ‘eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth’,” tweeted Ken Smithmier.
“Time for rubber bullets to knock them off their rides and arrest them. Enough is enough!” tweeted Sharon Price.
The suspect was among a dozen dirt bike drivers who “recklessly traveled in front of Bridgestone Arena” late Saturday afternoon, said a police Facebook post.
Video posted by WKRN of the scene shows the officer may have been trying to halt the driver of the four wheeler, which appeared to be part of a group of all-terrain vehicles weaving in and out of traffic.
The four-wheeler is at first seen pushing the officer, then the driver begins dragging him along the side of the vehicle, the video shows.
Bourque was then slung off the ATV into a guard rail set up along the side of the road. A group of citizens is seen lifting the guard rail off of the officer and Bourque remains seated on the curb as another officer calls for help, the video shows.
A press release issued by Nashvhille District 32 Council member Jacobia Dowell said Bourque was both struck and dragged by the vehicle, which she estimated was one of over 100 that “illegally took over Broadway Saturday around 3 p.m.”
“These individuals were weaving in and out of moving and parked vehicles, endangering motorists and pedestrians, when Sergeant Bourque was struck,” said her press release.
Video shows many of the dozens of drivers, including the suspect, had their faces covered.
As of Monday, investigators had not announced any arrests in the case.
The Nashville Tennessean reports the injured officer has been with the police department 22 years.