A Mount Rainier city police officer is nursing injuries at home after being hit twice by a car during a traffic stop on Tuesday evening.
The incident began at around 10 p.m. on Feb. 7 when Mount Rainier Police Cpl. A.J. Ortiz began a traffic stop near the intersection of Chillum and Queens Chapel roads in the parking lot of the RAI Care Center.
Ortiz was trying to get the information from the driver when suddenly the driver threw the car into reverse, turned the wheel and punched the gas. The turning, reversing car struck Ortiz, throwing him off balance. The driver then threw the car into drive and hit Ortiz a second time, rolling the officer over the driver's side hood and windshield where he then fell to the pavement. As the car drove off, Ortiz's left ankle was caught under the rear driver's side tire.
Ortiz was able to radio a lookout call for the suspect vehicle, and nearby police agencies began a search. Later on, witnesses told police they saw multiple people exit the suspect car in the 500 block of Greenlawn Drive in Hyattsville before one of the subjects returned to the car and drove off. Police eventually pulled it over near the intersection of 14th Avenue and 14th Place, but determined that the person now driving the car was not responsible for hitting Ortiz.
Detectives with the Prince George's County Police Department took over the follow-up investigation.
Ortiz was transported to MedStar. Amazingly, he did not suffer any serious injuries or broken bones and was released home on Wednesday morning.