Investigators identify Lynchburg officer who hit man trying to escape police on horseback

Police say the officer is now on restricted duty per LPD policy

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Investigators have identified the officer who accidentally hit a man trying to escape police on a horse, according to the Lynchburg Police Department.

Officer Michael Johnson, assigned to Patrol Operations, is the officer who accidentally hit Steve Rucker Jr., 57, of Amherst and has been with the department for six years, according to officials.

This comes after the incident that happened on March 20, at about 7:49 p.m., where officers responded to the intersection of 5th and Commerce Streets for a report of a wanted man, Rucker Jr., who was found riding a horse.

Police told Rucker Jr. he had a warrant for violating a protective order, but authorities said he did not comply with the officers’ orders. The person fled from authorities on his horse and continued to ride straight into head-on traffic.

About 14 minutes later, police said Rucker Jr. fell off his horse at 15th and Polk Streets while officers were still trying to stop him. However, as authorities approached him, Lynchburg Police said one officer accidentally hit him with a vehicle as he was laying in the roadway.

Police said that Johnson is now on restricted duty in accordance with LPD policy and that the investigation remains ongoing.

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