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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- A city police officer was hospitalized after a man crashed into his cruiser during a chase Tuesday night.
Sgt. Charles Johnson is being treated at St. Vincent's Medical Center for a broken neck, jaw and ankle. He is in stable condition.
The man who crashed into the officer's cruiser, Anthony Pooser, 24, of Pequonnock Street, was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment and one count each of interfering with a police officer and cruelty to animals. He is held in lieu of $25,000 bond.
The cruelty charge was lodged against Pooser, police said, because he grabbed a police dog by the neck and tried to strangle the animal.
The incident unfolded shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday as officers patrolling Knowlton Street spotted a green Jeep Cherokee in front of the Pleasant Moments Cafe, police said.
As officers approached, police said the vehicle sped away. Officers pursued the Jeep through the city's East Side, speeding through red traffic lights and stop signs, police said. At the Route 25 underpass near Main Street, the Jeep crashed head on into a cruiser driven by Johnson.
The Jeep flipped on its side and Pooser began to crawl out of its as officers ran to Johnson's aid. A dog was sent to pursue Pooser, but the defendant lifted the dog off its feet and was choking him when other officers arrived at the scene.
Police said officers managed to wrestle the dog from Pooser and managed to subdue after a struggle.
While Pooser was in custody, police said he kept talking about the planet Mars and how aliens were coming for him.