Crime

On-duty cop who ran over man was messaging about meal plans, suit says

Tacoma cop runs over drunk soldier surveillance video shows

Surveillance video shows a Tacoma police officer drive over Emanuel Andrade on June 14, 2014, as he laid in North Fife Street near Sixth Avenue after a night of heavy drinking. Andrade has sued the officer and the police department.
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Surveillance video shows a Tacoma police officer drive over Emanuel Andrade on June 14, 2014, as he laid in North Fife Street near Sixth Avenue after a night of heavy drinking. Andrade has sued the officer and the police department.

A former soldier who a Tacoma police officer ran over as the man lay in the street after a night of drinking in 2014 has sued the cop and the Police Department.

Emanuel N. Andrade, 26, filed the lawsuit June 8 in Pierce County Superior Court against the Police Department, the city and Officer Luke Faulkner.

The agency said at the time of the June 14, 2014, incident that Faulker had been checking license plates on his computer and looking for car prowlers before he slowly rolled over Andrade.

Andrade’s attorneys, Daniel Hannula and Daryl Graves, allege Faulkner was messaging with a coworker at the time to make meal plans.

“We’re not aware of any evidence to suggest there was a business or duty-related function being performed on that computer,” Graves said recently.

Police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said the department does not comment on pending litigation.

Andrade had gone out drinking with friends that night, and laid down by his car on North Fife Street about 1 a.m.

The lawsuit contends that about that time Faulkner and another officer were messaging about a late-night restaurant with good food.

“The two (officers) were discussing food, Pho — what it was and where they might get some — as defendant Faulkner drove along in this distracted fashion, all the while rolling toward Mr. Andrade, who became more and more plainly visible as defendant Faulkner’s car crept nearer and nearer,” the suit states.

Surveillance video from a nearby home shows the patrol car creep forward on North Fife Street near Sixth Avenue.

“He stops at least four, if not five times with Mr. Andrade in his headlights,” Hannula said. “For close to a minute, he’s operating a vehicle in which he not once looks up to see what’s in front of him.”

Then Faulkner accelerates over Andrade’s body. When he realizes what’s happened, the then-seven-year veteran of the department stops and goes to help Andrade.

Andrade suffered significant head injuries, severe fractures to his arms and pelvis and other injuries, the lawsuit says.

He was treated at St. Joseph, Madigan Army and Harborview medical centers. Since his family moved to Los Angeles, he has been treated by Veterans Administration health-care providers in California.

The father of three was a soldier stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord at the time of the accident. He since has been medically discharged.

His attorneys said he had intended to pursue a trade, possibly construction, after leaving the military. That’s not possible with his injures, they said.

“With the support of my family and doctors, I continue to receive treatment for my injuries,” Andrade said in a statement last week, “allowing me to do as many activities as possible and to support my family.”

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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