- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2002

A police cruiser responding to a call hit a 4-year-old boy yesterday afternoon when the youth dashed into a narrow street in Northeast, D.C. police said.
Lt. Michael R. Smith said the accident occurred about 5 p.m. in the 1300 block of Adams Street NE as an officer was responding to a request for backup from another officer who had located a stolen car nearby.
The unidentified child, who police said lives on the block, suffered a head injury but was conscious and talking after the accident.
He was taken by Metropolitan Police Department helicopter to Children's Hospital, where authorities say he was in serious but stable condition last night.
Lt. Smith said the officer who identified the stolen vehicle originally thought it was empty, but when someone jumped out and ran off, he called for backup and then ran after the suspect.
The patrol car was traveling down the one-way street "about 20 to 25 miles an hour" and did not have its lights or sirens on, Lt. Smith said. The boy dashed out from behind a tree into the street, he said. Parked cars on either side obstructed the officer's view.
Lt. Smith wouldn't identify the officer who hit the boy, other than to say she was from the 5th District.
The police helicopter that transported the boy to the hospital originally had been called in to assist police in locating the man who ran from the stolen car.
Lt. Smith described the call as "routine" and said a cruiser responding for backup is not required to put its lights on. He said that police were investigating the incident to see that the officer was driving the vehicle in an "appropriate" manner, but that so far nothing indicated she was not.


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