The Austin Chronicle

Suspect Allegedly Runs Over Austin Cop With Car

By Jordan Smith, March 17, 2006, News

Austin Police have arrested and charged 24-year-old Armando Torres with aggravated assault of a police officer in connection with his allegedly dragging and then running over five-year police officer Brenda Bermudez while driving a stolen Subaru through an HEB parking lot on March 7. According to an arrest affidavit, Bermudez pulled Torres over after clocking him speeding on East Riverside. She asked him for identification, but Torres said he didn't have any on him. Bermudez not only recognized Torres from a February 2005 burglary investigation – during which Torres reportedly knocked Bermudez into a stack of milk crates – but also recognized the green Subaru from a stolen car report she'd taken March 6 at a nearby apartment complex. While waiting for backup to arrive, Bermudez saw an increasingly "impatient" Torres "reach down to his left leg area," according to the affidavit; Bermudez reached into the vehicle for Torres' arm and told him not to move, reads the affidavit, but Torres didn't listen and began "struggling," with her, and was eventually able to start the car and put it into drive. With Bermudez's arm still trapped inside the passenger compartment, "Torres pressed the accelerator, took off at a high rate of speed, [and] jumped the curb he had stopped in front of," reads the affidavit, dragging Bermudez along with the car nearly 15 feet before she was able to free her arm. She finally broke free, falling to the ground, before the car ran over her legs, according to police. "Officer Bermudez was yelling very loud and kept telling Torres to stop [the car]," reads the affidavit. "Bermudez finally was able to disengage and fell to the ground. As she fell, the vehicle ran over her legs and possibly her hip area."

Bermudez was taken to the hospital with injuries to her back, neck, right knee, and right shoulder; at press time Torres remained in the Travis Co. jail on $120,000 bond.

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