A police car wrecked on Workman Road and the vehicle being pursued burst into flames in a Sunday morning pursuit. A police officer who was helping rescue the pair in the car had his thumb severed.
Nicholas Fairbanks, 31, of 6050 Gibbs Lane, is facing multiple assault and traffic charges.
Police said Fairbanks is a suspect in a shooting at 1113 Sheridan Ave. and had active warrants. He was seen earlier Sunday getting out of a white Ford Edge at 2109 E. 16th St. Police at the time decided not to pursue him "due to limited manpower and department policy not to perform felony warrant services on midnight shift."
An officer was called back out to the scene by a citizen who wanted the Ford Edge moved off their property. It was then that a chase began that proceeded in the vicinity of Willow Street. Police said the Ford went in and out of streets in that vicinity and at one point wound up on the dead end Lindberg Street. The Ford at that point headed for a patrol vehicle. The officer was able to avoid that collision.
The pursuit continued on Rossville Boulevard to Workman Road. As the vehicle neared Central Avenue it was not able to negotiate the turn and crashed into a fence at a business. It landed on its side and the engine caught fire.
Officers immediately began rescue efforts. Fairbanks was able to crawl to the back seat and opened the rear passenger door, which opened skyward. He then crawled out and was taken into custody.
As Fairbanks was getting out of the door, the tip of an officer's thumb was severed. It had been resting in the door jamb of the open door. The door closed under its own weight after Fairbanks exited.
Officers were able to break out a rear window and rescue the female passenger, Dominique Walker.