Police body camera video captures terrifying moments as SUV slams into cruiser on I-76 in Norton

Police believe driver hit police car on purpose
Posted at 8:17 PM, Dec 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 22:38:26-05

Norton police believe a 30-year-old Canton woman deliberately slammed her SUV into a police cruiser and another vehicle which had been pulled over on I-76 by Offier Ryan Connell.

Terrifying body camera video captured the sounds of the high-impact crash and showed the cruiser violently shake.

The incident happened December 10 around 3:30 a.m. in the westbound shoulder of the interstate.

Officer Connell, who was sitting in the driver's seat writing a ticket, can be heard yelling, "Holy (expletive)!"

Amazingly, Connell suffered only minor injuries, as did a man who was in the back of the cruiser. Moments before the crash, that man was pulled over for a lane violation and was arrested on a drug-related charge.

"The next thing I knew I was sideways on the interstate and all I heard leading up to that was screeching tires," Connell said. "I had a guardian angel with me at the time."

Officer Joshua Pond was providing backup on the highway and witnessed the crash.

Using his radio, Pond asked Connell if he was okay.

"Yeah, I'm alright," Connell responded.

Pond also assisted the man out of the back of the cruiser and then turned his attention to the woman who  caused the crash and then ran onto the highway while repeatedly yelling, "I want to die."

Officers said the woman was suicidal and admitted that she hit the cruiser on purpose. She also plowed into the SUV that had been stopped by Connell.

The woman was taken to an Akron hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Warrants, charging her with vandalism and criminal damaging, have been issued.

Connell, a Norton cop for two years, told New 5 the body camera video is hard to watch, but it serves as a reminder of how dangerous the job can be.

"You try to block out that fear, but you sign up for it. You come to work every night and know that something can happen. You pray to God that it doesn't happen," he said.