Man accused of running from Jacksonville police officer who was then hit by truck

Officer hospitalized in serious but stable condition

Surveillance video shows a police officer chasing a man late Thursday night before the officer was hit by a truck on 103rd Street.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man was jailed early Friday morning after running from a police officer who was then hit by a truck on the Westside, according to a public information officer for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The police officer was responding to a domestic violence call and was chasing the suspect about 11:50 p.m. when they both ran onto 103rd Street, where the officer was hit by a truck, the JSO spokesperson said.

In surveillance video obtained by News4JAX, the officer can be seen running after the man.

The officer suffered injuries to his lower extremities, and he was at a hospital in serious but stable condition at last check, the JSO spokesperson said. His name won’t be immediately released, at the request of the family.

“Pursuing fleeing suspects is just one of the many risks our officers face everyday. Officers uphold their oath to protect this community day in and day out putting themselves at risk. We are lucky that the officer was not killed in this incident and we pray for a speedy recovery. It’s unfortunate when suspects choose to flee or resist and unnecessarily put our community and officers at risk,” said Randy Reaves, president of Fraternal Order of Police Chapter 5-30

According to JSO, the driver of the truck stopped.

Additional surveillance video from a nearby business shows fire trucks and police cars lining 103rd Street near California Avenue.

News4JAX crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, a former officer, said that pursuits -- whether in a vehicle or on foot -- present an added danger for law enforcement officers .

“When an officer is pursuing someone, again, whether it’s on foot or speaker, he’s focused on that individual. He’s focused on trying to capture that person and trying to be as safe as possible,” Jefferson said.

“I had to go all the way around the corner just to get home. It was very hectic and I didn’t know what was going on,” said one neighbor, who wished to remain unnamed. “I hope everyone is OK.”

Though traffic homicide detectives were called, JSO did not hold a briefing on the crash and details were not provided until Friday morning when News4JAX requested them from the PIO.

The Sheriff’s Office later confirmed the suspect who ran from the officer was Eric Smith.

Smith, 27, was booked shortly after 2:30 a.m. Friday into the Duval County jail on charges of domestic battery, resisting police, false imprisonment and criminal mischief.

He appeared Friday afternoon in court. Smith asked if he could ask the judge a question, but his public defender advised him not to.

At the time of the overnight incident, records show, Smith was out on $100,000 bond on an armed burglary charge from October 2020. JSO filed a risk protection order against him, taking his gun away after the burglary, according to records.

The judge on Friday told Smith he’s staying in jail, his bond revoked on the prior charge.

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