A police chase of a burglary suspect in Colonie on Wednesday morning resulted in four officers being injured and the suspect arrested, police said.
The officers were injured, police said, as they chased the suspect on foot, after the suspect crashed his car.
The man got out of his car and ran to a guard rail, atop a deceptively short-looking wall behind 609 Central Ave. He, and the four officers behind him, leaped over it.
“They saw him go over and they all jump over,” said police Lt. Robert Winn. “It’s a retaining wall. They didn’t realize it was six or more feet down. None of them stuck the landing.”
One officer broke an ankle and may require surgery. The other three injured their legs, ankles, ribs and knees, though they did not break any bones, Winn said.
The incident began just before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday on Omega Terrace when a resident reported a man armed with a handgun was trying to break in.
The resident knew the suspect, having had past business dealings with him involving music recordings and a dispute over recording equipment, police said.
The first officer on the scene spotted a man driving away who matched the description given by the victim.
The driver refused to stop for the officer, instead fleeing, so police pursued. The suspect finally crashed near 609 Central Ave. in Albany, having gone a distance of about nine miles and striking two Colonie police cars along the way.
The suspect — John O. Francois, 22, no address given — then fled on foot.
It was during the foot pursuit that the officers were injured, as they jumped down a retraining wall about four to six feet to Colby Street.
Officers, though, soon caught up to Francois, arresting him.
The four officers injured were identified as: Robert Laliberte, 22 years with the department, who suffered a leg injury and was treated and released; Patrick Germaine, 21 years with the department, who suffered an ankle and foot fracture and was admitted to the hospital; Eric Gansle, 16 years with the department, who suffered a wrist and rib injury, and was treated and released; and David Mink, a four-year veteran who suffered an ankle and knee injury, and was treated and released.
Francois suffered a cut to his lip but refused treatment.
The handgun reported in the burglary turned out to be a starter pistol. It was recovered in the car.
Francois was charged with first-degree burglary and first-degree reckless endangerment, felonies; unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, second-degree menacing, and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors; and unlawfully dealing with fireworks.
He was expected to be arraigned in Colonie Town Court on Wednesday evening.
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