DENVER (CBS4) – Four Denver bicycle unit police officers helping control traffic during a student walkout on Wednesday were hit by a vehicle and injured on Wednesday. One of the officers was undergoing surgery and was in critical condition.
CBS4 News reports Officer John Adsit was the officer in critical condition at Denver Health Medical Center. He is a bike officer in the department’s District 6.
It’s believed the driver of the vehicle had a medical condition. The specific details surrounding that condition have not been released.
“Three of the four (officers) I think will be fine. The other one, obviously we’ll keep and his family in prayer and hopefully things will turn out okay,” Denver Police Chief Robert White said.
Two of the officers who were struck were taken to the hospital and treated and released less than an hour later. Another was treated on the scene by emergency crews and not hospitalized.
One of the officers struck has been identified as Darren Ulrich.
Police said the driver of the vehicle, a black Mercedes sedan, may have had a medical condition. That person was taken to the hospital and was listed in fair condition.
“The kids were protesting and the cops were managing it and out of nowhere there’s just a black vehicle that came through here and they hit that cyclist and then they went through the parking lot and they hit another vehicle,” said one woman who saw what happened.
“There’s a lot that goes on being a police officer or an administrator and of all the things that occur one thing you do not want to get notified is that one of your officers was the victim of serious injury,” White said. “Obviously, this is not our best day.”
The incident occurred at 11:55 a.m. near East Colfax Avenue and Williams Street while East High School students were returning to school after walking out to protest the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.
A witness told CBS4 one of the police officers may have been dragged by the vehicle about a block.
The students left class at approximately 10 a.m. and walked through downtown Denver. They gathered at the Capitol to protest a grand jury’s decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson.
It was estimated that nearly 1,000 people had gathered near the Capitol at 11:30 a.m. The students then walked from the Capitol and over Denver’s City and County Building and then to the 16th Street Mall.
The students began returning to school around noon and the officer was apparently helping escort them back to East High School located on East Colfax just past Josephine Street.
The protest disrupted traffic all around Capitol Hill during the march.
The name of the driver and the names of the police officers involved aside from Adsit and Ulrich have not been released.