A suspect was left with multiple fractures, and a collapsed lung by a police officer who chased him too closely, according to a court today.
PC Eugene Acheampong (28), and a colleague responded to reports that two men had broken into cars at Wood Green in north London on August 3, 2019.
Arnold Taylor tried to ride away from home on a bicycle. PC Acheampong collided, and ran him over in his patrol vehicle.
PC Acheampong was involved in a short pursuit between 14.53 to 14.54 before hitting Taylor on Hawkepark Road.
Taylor was assisted and transported to the Royal London Hospital by the police and an ambulance.
He sustained extensive injuries to his head and face, as well as a displaced fracture to the side arch of his jaw and dental fractures.
He also sustained rib, spine and lung fractures.
Daniel Fugallo (prosecutor) stated that the officer was behind the wheel of a marked police BMW.
PC Acheampong of Essex denies being charged with causing serious injury by dangerously driving
‘The allegation is that PC Acheampong was following that man in his police car so closely right behind him and at such speed, that it was dangerous.
“And because he was driving dangerously, he ended-up knocking the bicycle over, driving his police car right up over the bicycle, and right over Mr Taylor, causing him serious injury.
“That afternoon, police officers received a report from two men walking along Sirdar Road in an attempt to break into parked cars,” Mr Fugallo stated.
‘It was on Sirdar Road, officers heard a report that there were two men acting suspiciously around cars.
‘PC Acheampong, in a marked BMW, drove to the location in response to that report and had a colleague with him.
‘They made their way to Rusper Road and there they saw two men who fitted the descriptions of the two men they were told to look out for.’
PC Acheampong stopped the car at Rusper Road. His colleague got out to talk to the men, before Mr Taylor cycled off.
Mr Fugallo continued: ‘As the bicycle travelled along Sirdar Road towards Hawkepark Road, the car caught up with the bicycle so the bicycle was directly in front of the car.
He had requested a jury trial after he appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court
‘He followed the bicycle down Hawkepark Road, reaching a speed of 29mph before he brakes and slows down to 27mph.’
He claimed that the officer ‘ran above’ the cyclist.
‘PC Acheampong stayed at the scene and ambulance attended the scene and took Mr Taylor to the Royal London Hospital.’
Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the moment Mr Arnold’s bicycle went under the BMW.
Also, body worn footage from PC Acheampong was shown. It shows Mr Arnold following his car as it collides with another car and coming to a halt.
After an investigation, Mr. Acheampon had been interviewed on the 8th of January 2020. The court heard.
Mr Fugallo said: ‘He agreed that he hoped Mr Arnold would give up and stop.
He claimed that he was just following Arnold, applying his brakes frequently, and then Mr Arnold seemed to disappear.
“He felt his vehicle judder over things and he felt he was driving safely and sensibly.
‘PC Acheampong accepts he was driving on road in question at time in question.
He acknowledges that his driving caused injuries. He admits that those injuries are serious. You must decide if the driving was dangerous.
‘The Crown say driving at the speed he is driving so close behind Mr Arnold meaning that if Mr Arnold suddenly slowed, a collision of the kind that happened was simply unavoidable.
‘We say that the driving was far below what is expected of a careful and competent driver.’
Reading out Mr Taylor’s statement, the prosecutor said: ‘I was with a friend Christopher Beckwood. Chris was walking two to three metres ahead of mine while I was riding the bike.
‘As we approached an intersection I saw a marked police car turn from Westbury Avenue.
“I saw a policeman get out of his car and arrest Chris. I turned around and cycled in the opposite direction.
‘I saw the police car which was speeding towards me. The aftermath is not what I remember. After being hit from behind my next memory is waking up in hospital.’
PC Acheampong, Rainham, Essex, denies causing serious injuries by dangerous driving.
The trial continues.