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Officers, suspect hurt in traffic stop, pursuit

Police say passenger was hanging out of vehicle; driver taken into custody

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A police officer was pinned between a car and his cruiser while trying to assist a passenger that he thought was signaling for help early Wednesday morning. A second officer was injured and shots were fired during a subsequent pursuit.

After the pursuit, police found a woman handcuffed and asleep in the trunk of the car. The woman said she was girlfriend of the driver, 27-year-old Brian Taylor, but that he had drugged her and handcuffed her against her will.

Lt. Keith Clement was patrolling the Woodland Acres neighborhood on the Southside about 3 a.m. when he spotted a vehicle moving slowly, police said. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the passenger was hanging out the passenger's side and appeared to be signaling to the officer that he needed help.

Clement stopped the vehicle near Peach Drive and Anders Avenue to help the passenger, and when he walked between the vehicle and his cruiser to check on the passenger, the vehicle went into reverse, pinning Clement between the suspect vehicle and his cruiser, police said.

Clement was later taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Police said another officer at the scene began shooting at Taylor. They said that officer felt like he was in a life-threatening situation when he drew his weapon and fired four to five times.

At that time, the passenger got out of the vehicle and was detained by officers.

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Taylor sped away in the vehicle, prompting a police chase, police said. Officers conducted a PIT procedure, causing the suspect's vehicle to spin out and come to a stop at Monument and McCormick roads in East Arlington, police said.

Taylor ran through the area, but officers were able to take him into custody after a brief foot pursuit, police said. Taylor was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The passenger who signaled police cooperated with officers and was not arrested, police said.

The woman handcuffed in the car, Cheri Mueller, told police that she and Taylor had slept in the car the night before the incident and that when they woke up he forced her to take three blue pills. She said she didn't know what they were but thought they were either sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medication.

Officers are still investigating if the first passenger was in some type of danger.

Officers blocked off two scenes for the investigation: one on the Southside near Peach Drive and Anders Avenue, and another in East Arlington at Monument and McCormick roads.

Police announced hours later that a second officer was struck by the suspect vehicle during the incident, and he suffered minor injuries.

Taylor is charged with false imprisonment, resisting police with violence and reckless driving. It's the eighth time JSO has arrested him.