DUI suspect faces charges after Philly officer struck and injured in Kensington

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 06:41PM
DUI suspect faces charges after officer struck in Kensington. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 5:30 p.m. on May 10, 2017.

KENSINGTON - A drunk driving suspect is facing charges after police say he struck and injured a Philadelphia police officer the 3100 block of Custer Street in the Kensington section of the city.

Police say it was around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday night when the driver of a 2009 Ford Edge jumped a curb in the 3100 block of Custer Street, hitting a bicycle patrol officer while he and three other officers were investigating a separate incident.

Those three other officers were forced to jump to safety, and were not injured.

Police Officer Struck By Car

Police say the incident began when police first observed the suspect, later identified as 44-year-old Robert Sabalauskas, getting out of his SUV on Custer Street.

He appeared intoxicated, police said, stumbling forward and leaning onto his own vehicle.

As officers approached, they say, the man abruptly got back into the Ford, put it in gear and drove forward onto the sidewalk, striking the bicycle patrol officer.

The injured officer suffered a broken leg. He is 43 years old and a 21-year veteran of the force.

Officer struck in Kensington

Police say Sabalauskas fled the scene, but was eventually apprehended on the 2300 block of East Allegheny Avenue.

Chief Inspector Scott Small of the Philadelphia Police Department said, "When they took the male into custody, they realized he was impaired. He appeared to be intoxicated. He was unable to stand without staggering and wobbling. He appeared to be impaired. Officers also found an open container of alcohol in the front seat of the vehicle that the suspect was driving."

The suspect was taken to Police Headquarters to undergo a breathalyzer test, and is facing aggravated assault and other charges.
The 24th District officer's left leg was broken in two places, but investigators say he could be released from the hospital some time on Wednesday.

Send a breaking news alert
Report a correction or typo
Learn more about the 6abc apps
(Copyright ©2017 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)