Taber man charged with assaulting a police officer

Lethbridge Police have charged a 20-year-old man in connection with an incident earlier this year where an officer was dragged then struck by a stolen vehicle.

During the early morning hours January 30, 2018 police responded to a report of car prowling in the area of 20 Avenue South. An officer attended and was searching the area on foot when he witnessed a Lincoln MKX pull into a parking lot along the 2100 block of Palm Road South at a high rate of speed.  A male passenger then exited and ran into an apartment building. The vehicle matched the description of one that had previously been reported stolen and the officer subsequently approached the driver’s side door. The driver was instructed to exit the vehicle and when he did not comply the officer tried the door handle. The driver put the vehicle in reverse and the officer was dragged a short distance. He stepped away from the vehicle and continued to instruct the driver to stop and get out. The vehicle drove forward for a short distance and then reversed, striking the officer and pushing him back several feet before he was able to move out of the way and avoid being run over. The vehicle fled the scene.

The officer sustained minor bumps and bruises and did not require medical treatment.

Following further investigation the vehicle was later recovered in a residential area and police identified the driver who was subsequently arrested without incident on Feb. 26.

Pedro Alejandro Friesen, 20, of Taber, is charged with assaulting a police officer with a weapon, dangerous driving, flight from police and possession of stolen property over $5,000. Friesen was scheduled to appear in court today.