Bodycam released after stolen vehicle suspect hits 2 Springfield Police cruisers, injures 3 officers
Three people were arrested and three Springfield police officers were injured following a traffic stop in Springfield on Tuesday.
Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh said that officers saw a stolen Hyundai vehicle on Maple Street around 6 p.m. Tuesday. They pulled the vehicle over a short time later on Broad Street.
The driver, identified as 19-year-old Daniel Walker of Springfield, allegedly then drove the vehicle in reverse and hit a Springfield police cruiser that had two officers inside. Walker then allegedly sped forward and drove over an officer’s foot.
Backup arrived and “Walker continued to drive recklessly barely missing numerous pedestrians, bicyclists, children and other vehicles,” Walsh explained, adding that Walker then continued to speed, drove through a stop sign, and crashed into a cruiser at the intersection of Central and Morris Streets. That cruiser was totaled, and the two officers inside were injured.
Walker then allegedly fled on foot, but police were able to take him into custody near Dale Street. A 14-year-old male, who was on Central Street, also tried to flee.
Walsh noted that a 14-year-old female passenger was inside the stolen car when it caught fire. The two officers who were in one of the damaged cruisers were able to rescue the girl from the burning car and provided first aid. She was also arrested.
During a search of the vehicle, investigators reportedly found tools that were used to steal cars, specifically Kia’s and Hyundai’s.
Three injured Springfield police officers were taken to Baystate Medical Center and were released Tuesday night. The three suspects were also taken to Baystate and were later released from medical care.
Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood said in a statement:
“I am incredibly thankful that none of our officers got seriously injured and that this suspect did not kill or serious injure any of our citizens Tuesday night. This incident is eerily reminiscent to the tragedy that just occurred in Hartford that took the life of Detective Garten and to what happened to a State Trooper on I-91 last week. These actions showed a blatant disregard for the lives of our officers and residents, and it is completely unacceptable. On top of that, this suspect should not even be out on our streets to wreak this havoc. Since being arrested with an illegal firearm, he has been arrested for another incident involving a stolen Hyundai, a hit-and-run crash, yet his bail wasn’t revoked. This individual is inherently dangerous to our residents and deserves to be held, or the next time he could take an innocent person’s life.”
Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood
Walker is now facing several charges, including:
Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (three counts)
Failure to stop for police
Assault with a dangerous weapon
Leaving the scene of a property damage crash (two counts)
Possession of burglarious tools
Unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle
Leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury (three counts)
Due to their ages, the juvenile’s names and charges will not be released.
Walsh told Western Mass News that Walker was out on bail for three other open criminal cases. He is now in custody as he awaits a dangerousness hearing.
“He had an open firearms charge from August of 2022 and just in the past few months, Springfield Police arrested him for receiving a stolen motor vehicle, that’s driving a vehicle that is stolen, and he was also charged with a hit-and-run crash as well,” Walsh explained.
Meanwhile, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno once again called on the judicial system to hold repeat offenders. He told us ongoing efforts are in the works to address these types of crimes involving juveniles.
“We would rather, instead of putting cuffs on individuals, we would rather give them the passes that say ‘Hey, go to the South End Community Center, go to MLK, go to the Girls Club, go to the Boys Club, go here, go there.’ It opens up a tremendous amount of avenues for them,” Sarno added.
Springfield Police continue to urge Hyundai and Kia owners to buy a highly visible steering wheel locking devices for their vehicles.