FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Farmington Police Department released new dashcam footage Thursday showing the moment Farmington Police Officer James O’Donnell was pinned between two cars last month.
Officer O’Donnell suffered broken bones and he still cannot walk. News 8 was told it could take up to a year for him to recover.
The video shows how quickly the driver, identified as 32-year-old Pedro Acevedo of New Britain, took off from the scene.
Acevedo was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Hartford Superior Court. He is charged with felony assault and is being held on $750,000.
Police report Acevedo has been locked up for about the last week for an unrelated larceny charge stemming from a different stolen vehicle. Police say his arrest has opened other investigations related to stolen vehicles, armed robberies, ATM thefts, and catalytic converter thefts. Additional arrests and charges are anticipated.
Farmington Police Officer James O’Donnell, a three-year veteran of the force, was seriously hurt on Sept. 20 when Acevedo allegedly struck him and pinned him between his police cruiser and the suspect’s vehicle.
O’Donnell suffered from what police described as multiple broken bones and crushing, devastating pelvic injuries, and will need a lengthy rehabilitation. Chief Paul Melanson said during a press conference Tuesday “we hope to get him back in a year… He is not expected to get out of the hospital for another four weeks… He is lucky to be alive.”
Chief Melanson added, “An assault on a police officer is an assault on the fabric of a civilized society.”
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Prosecutors say Acevedo’s rap sheet dates back more than a decade.
The chief said of Acevedo that he has zero remorse for the harm he has caused and “he has been terrorizing Connecticut citizens for years.”
Officer O’Donnell’s wife released a statement following the arraignment that said, in part, “I believe the entire situation could have been avoided if qualified immunity was not in the back of law enforcement’s mind at all times.”
She is referencing the police accountability bill that became law last year put limits on qualified immunity for police.
The police department has planned a flag football fundraiser event to support O’Donnell’s family through this tough time. It will be held at Farmington High School’s turf field on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m.