ARNOLD, Mo. – A St. Louis teen faces several charges after authorities said he intentionally charged his vehicle at two Arnold police detectives.
Eli Henning, 17, was taken into custody Monday after authorities said he narrowly missed striking the officers in a parking lot at Arnold Commons.
Henning was wanted for drug possession, police said. He had allegedly taken part in a transaction outside a Lowe’s store when two patrol vehicles closed in on Henning.
Det. Corporal Brett Ackermann said the uniformed detectives got out of their vehicles and instructed Henning to leave his car.
Instead of following commands, Henning tried to flee the scene.
“He put it in reverse, went backwards, almost striking one of the detectives. And then he lunged forward in the vehicle, almost striking the other detective,” Ackermann said.
He said the two detectives, fearing for their safety, fired into the vehicle.
Ackermann said Henning was grazed by a bullet but kept his foot on the gas pedal, eventually crashing into a parked vehicle nearby.
“it appeared he would do anything possible to get out of the situation he had put himself into,” Ackermann said.
Henning was treated for the injury and is in custody at the Arnold Police Department.
Henning was charged Tuesday with first-degree attempted assault against an officer, fourth-degree assault, first-degree property damage, resisting arrest by fleeing, leaving the scene of an accident, and armed criminal action. The patrol vehicles were damaged but police said they are grateful the human cost wasn’t greater.
“They could have easily been severely injured or dead. If the car would have struck them, pinned them between the two cars, or run them over,” Ackermann said. “We make split decisions every day and that was a very close one for our guys.”
In accordance with department policy, the officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.