An accident in which a Tacoma police car ran over a man lying in the street Saturday will be forwarded to prosecutors after investigators interview the policeman or the man injured, the department said Monday.
“We’re doing a traffic investigation like we would for any other citizen out there,” police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said. “We don’t believe there’s any wrongdoing. It looks like an accident.”
Police said the man run over, Emanuel Andrade, a 22-year-old Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier, was in critical but stable condition Monday. JBLM confirmed Andrade is assigned to the 7th Infantry Division, but further information about his position at the base was not available Monday.
The department has not yet identified the policeman, a seven-year law enforcement veteran.
Police said the accident happened about 1:20 a.m. Saturday in the 600 block of North Fife Street as the officer was checking license plates on his computer. Investigators have talked to witnesses and reviewed surveillance footage taken from a nearby home.
The footage shows Andrande lying in the street when the police car slowly approaches and stops. The car then moves a few feet and halts before rolling forward and stopping what appears to be about a car length from Andrande. The car then pulls forward, running over the prone man.
Cool pointed out that because the footage was taken by an infrared camera, the incident appears differently than it would have that night. Andrade was wearing a navy blue shirt and navy blue pants, colors that appear white on the infrared footage, she said.
Detectives have not yet interviewed Andrade or the officer, who is on paid leave and expected to return to work when the investigation interview has been done.
“It is an ongoing investigation, and when the interviewing portions are completed, we’ll do ongoing releases as we can,” Cool said. “His name will be revealed as we can.”
The department has not reached out to Andrade’s family yet, because they don’t want to interfere with his recovery at St. Joseph Medical Center, Cool said.
“We’re trying to be respectful,” she said. “He’s not suspected of any crime. We want him to be able to spend some time there without interruptions.”