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BPD Officer Dragged By Car 2 Blocks Is Now In Fair Condition; 36-Year-Old Charged

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A Baltimore police sergeant who was dragged two blocks by a car Tuesday night following a traffic stop is out of surgery and in fair condition, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

Joseph Daniel Black, 36, was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with the case, and Harrison claimed he confessed to injuring the officer. Black is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment.

After being taken to Shock Trauma for treatment on Tuesday night, the officer was listed in critical condition and said to be on full life support.

Officers responded to the 1600 block of Druid Hill Avenue about 7:30 a.m. for a "possible barricade situation," Harrison said, and the scene was secured about four hours later, and Black was taken into custody without incident.

Parts of two roads were closed in the vicinity of a rowhouse at that address and whole area was blocked off by SWAT teams.

The officer, a 27-year veteran, was injured Tuesday shortly about 8 p.m. in the 5200 block of Park Heights Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.

Harrison said Wednesday the officer stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer saw the driver was allegedly armed.

The officer made verbal commands for the driver to exit. When that did not work, the officer reached through the window and tried to physically remove the man, Harrison said.

The driver accelerated, dragging the officer, who was still partially inside the vehicle, Harrison said.

At some point, he fell out of the window, Harrison said. The driver hit another car along the way before escaping.

Witnesses told WJZ they ran up to the officer as he lay in the street and all they could see was an officer surrounded by blood.

"As we stated last night, the sergeant was exactly where he was supposed to be doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing," Harrison said. "He put himself in harm's way to help make sure citizens are protected, to catch people committing violent acts and to help create a safer Baltimore."

Speaking Wednesday, Harrison cast Black as a repeat violent offender, saying he's been arrested at least 19 times as an adult.

Mayor Brandon Scott said community leaders in Park Heights will often complain about the criminal activity in the area where the traffic stop was made. The mayor grew up in the neighborhood.

Scott said the officer was engaging in the kind of proactive police work many residents say is lacking from the department.

"And what was supposed to be a normal duty put this officer in Shock Trauma," the mayor said.

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