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Officer charged with assault after suspect hit by police car

Benton Harbor City Hall front steps
Lindsey Smith
/
Michigan Radio
Benton Harbor City Hall

An officer who authorities say ran over a man who was fleeing police in southwestern Michigan has been charged with assault.

The Berrien County prosecutor's office says Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety officers were investigating a possible stolen lawn mower about 1:45 a.m. May 10 when they came upon a man who was riding a bike without a light.

The prosecutor's office says the man dropped the bike and ran before Steven Johnson, who no longer works for the department, intentionally hit him with a squad car.

WBND-TV reports defense lawyer Marc Curtis says Johnson didn't mean to hit the man.

Investigators reviewed police car video and body camera footage. The 51-year-old Sturgis man was arraigned Wednesday. The man who fled pleaded guilty to charges including resisting police.

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