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Canal Fulton officer injured when cruiser crashes during pursuit

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Photo courtesy of the Canal Fulton PD Facebook page

CANAL FULTON, OH – A Canal Fulton police officer was taken to the hospital after his police cruiser crashed late Saturday evening.

The Ohio State Patrol tells Fox 8 that Officer Robert Stetka, 25, was heading to an emergency call around 11:20 p.m. A woman in a moving vehicle had called in to police saying that her intoxicated husband, who was armed, was driving the car she was in.

Stetka was following two Lawrence Township police officers as he drove north on Milan Avenue in an attempt to intercept the vehicle.  But he lost control of his car while trying to make a left curve. The car hit a utility pole, and Officer Stetka was trapped inside. Rescue crews had to use mechanical Jaws of Life to free him.

The cars’ lights and sirens were on at the time of the crash, and Stetka was wearing a seatbelt. He was taken to Akron City Hospital with a dislocated shoulder.

According to Chief Douglas Swartz, Officer Stetka wanted to pop his dislocated shoulder back in place and return to his shift that night. He calls him “a very dedicated and sound police officer” who was trying to help someone in distress.

The man the police were chasing was arrested. His name and charges against him are not known yet.