Speeding vehicle nearly hits officer

A police officer had to jump out of the way as a speeding driver tried to leave a Greenwood neighborhood after firing a shot, a police report said.

The officer wasn’t injured, and a man was arrested after a police dog found him hiding under a vehicle.

Justin D. Clift, 29, 936 Bentgrass Drive, Greenwood, was arrested on charges of criminal recklessness with a firearm, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, resisting law enforcement, leaving the scene of an accident and criminal mischief.

A resident called police about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday to report that someone had fired shots into the air and ran over several mailboxes, a Greenwood police report said.

The incident happened in the Sweetgrass neighborhood off Worthsville Road and Emerson Avenue. When a police officer first arrived, he saw people standing in the street and then heard tires screeching and saw a speeding truck driving straight toward him, the report said.

The officer had to run out of the street and into the grass to avoid being hit by the truck, the report said.

Officers brought in a police dog and organized a search for the suspect. The dog found the suspect hiding under a van in the neighborhood, but he wouldn’t come out, so the police dog was used. Clift was later taken to the hospital to be checked for injuries from the dog, then released and taken to the Johnson County jail.

Police found several mailboxes knocked down and pieces of the truck in the yards. A resident told police she heard a noise, came outside and saw her mailbox knocked down and that a man got out of his truck, fired a gun into the air and started to walk to her house, so she went back inside and called police, the report said.

Clift would not answer questions from the police. Police were later told by others that he had been upset when remembering the death of a friend, was on medication and had been drinking, the report said.

He was held on $5,000 bond.

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Michele Holtkamp is editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at mholtkamp@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2774.