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Bethlehem officer struck by vehicle

July 9, 2018 01:29 pm

BETHLEHEM — A Bethlehem police officer was struck by a vehicle in the parking lot of the Glenmont Walmart this weekend, according to the Bethlehem Police Department.

The incident took place Saturday, July 7, at 2 p.m., while the officer was trying to apprehend a woman suspected of shoplifting, according to a statement from the Bethlehem Police Department.

The woman has been identified by police as Wendy M. Downey, 58, of Castleton.

The officer, who was not identified, was in the parking lot taking a report for an unrelated property damage crash.

“The officer observed a Walmart loss prevention officer attempting to apprehend a woman who had just [allegedly] shoplifted from the store in an unrelated incident,” according to the statement. “The officer ran towards the fleeing suspect in the parking lot, as the suspect got into her vehicle. The officer signaled for the vehicle to stop and approached the front of the vehicle.”

Police say Downey “then put the vehicle in drive and drove forward striking the officer,” according to the statement.

After being struck, the officer approached the vehicle on the driver’s side and convinced the driver to stop the vehicle. She was taken into custody.

Downey was charged with second-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment, both felony charges, and misdemeanor charges of petty larceny, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, reckless driving, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and operating while registration/license suspended. She also faces violations of unregistered motor vehicle, uninsured motor vehicle, unsafe backing and failing to comply with an officer, according to Bethlehem Police.

The officer was treated on the scene by Delmar-Bethlehem EMS and then transported to St. Peter’s Hospital for a knee injury, according to police.

Downey was arraigned in the Town of Bethlehem Court and was remanded to the Albany County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail, police said. A preliminary hearing has been set for Tuesday, July 10.