OAKLAND, Calif. - Oakland police say a man who was originally slumped over the wheel of his car on Wednesday, woke up, crashed into a tree and knocked over two officers, dragging one about 15 feet.
A witness says the driver sped off, knocking the two officers to the ground.
Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said the driver took off on the freeway after the 7 a.m. incident at 12th and Castro streets. The officer who was dragged was taken to a hospital.
A woman out for a walk saw the car that looked like it had struck a tree, and that the man driving the car appeared to be asleep.
She called police dispatch and two officers showed up. The woman says the officers went to check on the driver.
Both officers were standing on the driver's side of the car.
"I heard them keep saying put the car in park. Put the car in park. Put the car in park. I was behind the car and could see the reverse lights go on and off. On and off," said Karin Buckley.
Buckley said the driver sped off knocking down the officers and dragging one of them for about 10 feet,
"All of a sudden the guy just reversed and dragged the officer for a little bit," Buckley said.
"One of them was caught by the vehicle and dragged about 10-15 feet. He was not run over but he was dragged," said police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson.
"I was really scared for them," Buckley.
Police say the driver sped off onto Interstate 980. Investigators are looking for him and his car, a light colored SUV.
"The best thing is for the driver to turn himself in. We want to let him know we are actively looking for him. We have information from the witnesses and the officers," said Watson. "We are very appreciative that this situation didn't turn out any additional injuries."
But hovering over this case is one deeply concerning question for the police.
Oakland police say they are wondering whether the driver simply trying to escape the officers recklessly, or was he intentionally trying to hurt them. On Sunday a gunman opened fire on two Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies who were sitting in their car. They survived the surprise attack.
"Especially in this particular time we know with all the things that are happening with law enforcement, it certainly could have been a more serious situation," said Watson.
Police and Oakland Crime Stoppers are offering a $7,500 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in this case.