ROCK HILL, S.C. - An off-duty Highway Patrol trooper who tried intervening in a domestic assault at a Rock Hill gas station on Sunday was briefly dragged by a car after his hand became stuck in the driver's side door until he hopped onto one of the car's running boards and managed to pull himself free, police say.
The Rock Hill Herald is reporting that authorities are searching for the two suspects who jumped into the SUV and took off while the trooper tried calling for police backup.
Troopers said at about 4:30 p.m., 39-year-old Lance Cpl. Michael Shank was at the Murphy Express gas station off S.C. 161 when he witnessed a fight between a man, possibly in his early 20s and about 165 pounds, and a woman, possibly in her late 30s or early 40s with long blond hair. According to a police report, the man was hitting the woman.
Shank, who was off duty, identified himself as a police officer and told the man to stay away from the woman, the report stated.
The man stood near the back of the car while Shank called for assistance from on-duty officers. The suspect continued to move around and eventually sat down in the SUV's passenger seat. The victim sat in the driver's seat, the report stated, and turned on the ignition.
Shank warned the woman not to pull away but she did not listen.
The woman put the car in drive and took off. Shank's right hand was caught in the driver's side door and he was pulled along with the car.
Shank managed to jump onto one of the car's lower running boards and rode it until his hand was free, the report stated. He leaped off the car and returned to his personal car, where his child had been waiting and watching, authorities said.
The vehicle is described as a white, late 1990s/early 2000s model Mitsubishi SUV with a South Carolina license plate, the report states. It's unclear if the gas station's surveillance cameras captured the incident on video.
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