Philadelphia police on Wednesday identified the officer who shot and wounded a driver whose car allegedly dragged him Saturday night on North Broad Street.
Officer Amir Watson, a 12-year veteran of the Police Department, had fired a shot that wounded Maurice Smith, 26, of North Philadelphia, police said.
Smith, of the 1300 block of West Allegheny Avenue, was charged Monday with aggravated assault, gun offenses, driving under the influence, and related offenses. He remains in custody at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on $300,000 bail and faces a May 30 preliminary hearing.
A spokesperson for the Defender Association of Philadelphia, which is representing Smith, said Wednesday that the office would not comment on the case.
Smith was driving a Toyota Camry on Broad near Montgomery Avenue about 10:50 p.m. Saturday when two uniformed Philadelphia Highway Patrol officers pulled his car over because it had a flat tire, police said. After Watson’s partner asked Smith for his license and registration and detected marijuana, he opened the driver’s door and frisked Smith, feeling and seeing the handle of a gun in his front left pocket.
Watson then went to the driver’s side and both officers struggled with Smith for control of the gun, police said. Smith then drove away, dragging Watson a few feet north on Broad, police said.
As Watson was being dragged, Smith pointed his gun at Watson, who fired his weapon, hitting Smith in the right forearm, police said.
The Camry then struck a SEPTA police vehicle, occupied by two transit officers, traveling north on Broad near Norris Street. Smith ran off, but was apprehended in a rear alley near the 2000 block of North 15th Street by responding police officers, police said.
During a search of the alley Sunday morning, police found what they believe is Smith’s gun. Smith was treated at Temple University Hospital and was released into police custody over the weekend.