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Officer injured en route to robbery chase

SATURDAY, AUG. 7, 2010, 1:46 P.M.

A police officer is in the hospital with a neck injury after another driver struck his car, while en route to help catch robbery suspects.

The officer, whose name has not been released, was struck on Riverside and Browne at 2:30 a.m., as he used emergency equipment and drove through a flashing red light. Legally officers are allowed to enter the intersection on flashing red, the Sheriff’s Office said. His neck injury is non-life threatening, according to the Spokane Sheriff’s Office. The other driver, 19-year-old Taylor R. Shockman, sustained minor injuries. Police arrested Shockman for vehicular assault, but she also could be charged with minor possession of alcohol, and driving while impaired, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The police officer was on his way to help catch suspects from a robbery near the Cenex gas station by Mission and Ruby around 2:30 a.m. The two robbers, Christopher W. Hardwick, 30, and Kevin W. Nichols, 26, stabbed a man in the stomach and stole his wallet. Hardwick and Nichols drove a stolen gray Honda Civic, the Sheriff’s Office said. The two men led a chase to Riverfront Park, where one jumped into the Spokane River, and officers followed on foot. They were both taken into custody.

Hardwick was booked on charges including possession of a stolen car, first-degree robbery, and first-degree assault. In 2003 Hardwick was charged with second-degree robbery and residential burglary in a domestic dispute, according to Spokesman reports. Nichols was booked on charges of first-degree assault and robbery, and for posession of the stolen car.


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