Stamford cop critically injured in fall during chase

May 17, 2012 2:16:35 PM PDT
A police officer fell from a bridge abutment onto the edge of a highway while chasing a robbery suspect on foot early Thursday morning, suffering critical injuries.

Stamford Officer Troy Strauser, 39, fell about 20 feet from the abutment over Interstate 95 in Norwalk and underwent surgery at Norwalk Hospital, police Chief Robert Nivakoff said.

Police arrested Frank Douglas, 30, of Norwalk after the chase. He faces numerous charges, including robbery, interfering with a police officer and cruelty to animals. Police said he choked a police dog during the struggle to apprehend him.

The chase began shortly after 1 a.m. when a witness reported that a man was being beaten and robbed in Stamford, police said in a news release.

Police chased the suspect's car into Norwalk, where it crashed.

Douglas fled on foot, ran over the bridge, then made a left turn and made his way down the 20-foot drop of the bridge abutment to the level of the highway below, police said.

Strauser did not see the edge of the abutment, which was obscured by some underbrush, fell and landed facedown on a guardrail and the pavement at the edge of the highway, police said.

"He loves his job and loves his life," the chief told the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. "In this instance, as in many other instances, he showed phenomenal bravery."

Douglas was transported to Stamford Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries, released and taken into custody, police said. It could not immediately be determined whether he had an attorney.

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