A Delaware County police officer was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania this afternoon after he stopped a Cadillac outside the Kmart in Clifton Heights and was dragged about 100 yards through the parking lot when the suspect hit the gas, police said.
Clifton Heights Police Chief Walter Senkow said Officer Kevin Schieler is conscious and alert, but appears to have suffered a broken leg and could have other serious injuries. Schieler works part time in Clifton and full time in Chester.
Investigators are still on the scene trying to piece together what happened, but Senkow said Schieler may have interrupted a drug deal. The suspect apparently dragged him from the entrance of the Kmart on Baltimore Pike to the rear of the parking lot before slamming into several other cars. The suspect has been taken into custody.
Update: Speaking from the hospital tonight, Senkow says Schieler is "severely injured," including a broken leg, pelvis, and ribs, fractured spine and punctured lung. Schieler, 26, has been stabilized for the night and is expected to undergo surgery tomorrow.
Senkow said it remains unclear whether drugs were the reason for the traffic stop, but that the suspect became "fidgety" when asked for his driver's license, then "took off at a high rate of speed."
"I don’t know if my officer was holding onto the car, or stuck partly in the car, but he was crushed between the suspect's car and the first car that was hit," Senkow said. "The suspect did try to flee and Officer Schieler reached out and grabbed his leg until other officers could get him."
"I give the kid a lot of credit," Senkow said. "He has a lot of heart."