BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A Boynton Beach police officer is hospitalized after he was struck by a vehicle Wednesday afternoon while chasing a shoplifting suspect.
It occurred around 3 p.m. at Gateway Boulevard and Congress Avenue near Renaissance Commons, close to the entrance of the Kohl's/Carrabba's shopping center.
Police said the officer was in foot pursuit of a suspect when they were struck by a car traveling eastbound on Gateway Boulevard.
"The suspect tried to run back toward the area of Kohl's trying to get away. The officer got on foot, got out of his patrol car, and got out on foot," said witness Keith Collins. "There were five or six people giving CPR, so I wanted to go after the suspect."
One suspect, 24 year-old Ryan Moody, is in custody and faces charges of grand theft and resisting an officer with violence.
Officers are actively looking for a second suspect, 23-year-old Elyshia Wilson. Police say the suspects were stealing $1,200 worth of baby items from Kohl's.
Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said, "The officer is still being evaluated right now. If you’re so inclined, we would ask that the community please pray for the officer and pray for all of us here at the Boynton Beach Police Department as we still have an active criminal investigation."
The chief of police has scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. Thursday regarding the incident.
This is a previous mugshot of Ryan Moody, 24. Police say he is the suspect that the officer saw running, wanted for shoplifting, when the officer was hit by a car. @WPTV @BBPD pic.twitter.com/KaJ3Cx10M5— Andrew Lofholm (@AndrewLofholm) February 28, 2019
Two officers responded to Kohl's after employees called them. They had Wilson detained. Moody was in the store, saw them and ditched the bags and ran out of the store. Officer who was injured saw Moody and began to chase when he was hit.— Andrew Lofholm (@AndrewLofholm) February 28, 2019
New info in @BBPD injured officer:— Andrew Lofholm (@AndrewLofholm) February 28, 2019
Police captured Ryan Moody, 24, but Elyshia Wilson, 23 is still on the run.
Both on the same charges: grand theft and resisting an officer without violence. PD says they were stealing $1,200 worth of baby items from Kohl's.
Read the statement from Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael G. Gregory:
Right now, the prayers of the entire Boynton Beach Police Department are with our officer and his family as they move through the next 24-48 hours, which will be critical for him. I want to express my heartfelt admiration for the men and women of our department, who showed heroic professionalism today in the face of an incredibly difficult situation. I extend my thanks to everyone in our community for their prayers, other law enforcement agencies who provided assistance, and to our elected officials for the support they’ve shown under harrowing circumstances. The fire rescue personnel and emergency medical staff who provided incredible care for our officer have our deepest respect and gratitude. In the next day or two, we hope to learn more about our officer’s prognosis, and we ask all of you for your continued prayers. This incident serves as a reminder of the dangers officers face every day while working to keep the Boynton Beach community safe.