Cop struck by car trying to stop thieves at Drivers Village

Syracuse Police are looking for the public's help in finding a pickup truck and two suspects, who hit a Syracuse Police detective after he interrupted a theft at a Cicero car dealership.

The detectives were at Driver's Village early Tuesday morning, and apparently interrupted the two. According to Police Chief Frank Fowler, 'They were in the process of stealing tires and rims from vehicles, there in the parking lot of Driver's Village. Our detective confronted them as they were getting into their vehicle, and as the detective is walking up to the vehicle to confront them, the driver then turs the vehicle, drives toward the detective, striking him with the vehicle, knocking him backwards. Our detective, in fear for his life, fires two rounds, directly into the vehicle.

The detective has scrapes and bruises. His name will be made public later this week. Chief Fowler says the other detectives rushed to his assistance, and the suspects got away. He says the use of force was justified:

"Someone driving a vehicle at you is a deadly physical force situation. The officer clearly knew that his life was in danger when this happened. And so he was within his rights to utilize deadly physical force to save his life and to separate himself from being struck from the vehicle."

Police have been investigating a string of thefts of rims and tires from Syracuse and its suburbs for several months, at least 50 incidents, including from cars parked near homes. High-end SUVs with bigger tires and fancier rims have been a preferred target.