Warrior, AL – A convicted felon accused of intentionally hitting a Warrior police officer with a stolen car wound up launching the vehicle off of a cliff in his attempt to evade arrest on Wednesday, according to police.
The incident occurred on July 27 as Warrior Police Department (WPD) officers were searching for a vehicle that had been reported as stolen out of Birmingham, The Birmingham News reported.
A WPD detective ultimately located the stolen car on Mimosa Street and pulled in ahead of it with his patrol SUV’s emergency lights activated in an attempt to block the driver in, WPD Detective Sergeant Tim Evans told the news outlet.
The detective then jumped out of his patrol vehicle and initiated a stop, WBMA reported.
That’s when the suspect, later identified as 29-year-old parolee Dantrell Dujuan Purifoy, backed the stolen vehicle up, threw it into drive, and sped towards the detective who was trying to stop him, Det. Sgt. Evans told The Birmingham News.
As the stolen car came barreling towards him, the detective managed to jump partway into his patrol SUV.
Purifoy allegedly slammed the vehicle into the door of the patrol car, pinning the detective’s foot in the door and demolishing the door itself, WBMA reported.
The suspect sped off with additional officers following close behind, according to WVTM.
The pursuit continued down River Road off of Highway 31 until Purifoy ran into a dead end at approximately 4:30 p.m., police said.
That’s when the convicted felon launched the stolen car off of a steep cliff, Det. Sgt. Evans told The Birmingham News.
The vehicle traveled approximately 75 yards down into the thick woods before it flipped, investigators said.
Police initially believed the car possibly landed in the Locust Fork River, but they ultimately located it the dense forest, WVTM reported.
Purifoy had managed to escape the vehicle before police located it and took off running towards the river, Det. Sgt. Evans told The Birmingham News.
Investigators recovered the stolen vehicle from the woods at approximately 8:30 p.m. and allegedly found a gun inside, WVTM reported.
WPD Chief Scott Praytor said police ultimately apprehended Purifoy near Ellis Road at approximately 9:20 p.m., about five hours after he launched the stolen car off of the cliff.
The officer whose foot was injured in the initial crash was transported to the hospital and he is expected to make a full recovery, Det. Sgt. Evans told The Birmingham News.
Investigators said Purifoy had an active no-bond warrant for violating his parole at the time of the attack.
His criminal history goes back nearly 10 years.
He was booked into jail on a charge of attempted murder of a police officer, felon in possession of a firearm, and receiving stolen property, The Birmingham News reported.