An LAPD narcotics officer was dragged while holding onto the steering wheel of an SUV in a dramatic confrontation in Granada Hills last week. The officer was hanging out the driver's side door as the vehicle reached speeds of up to 45 mph, police say.
Now a Porter Ranch man has been charged in the incident that left the plainclothes officer with several broken bones, according to the L.A. County district attorney.
The suspect had been spotted possibly selling drugs and was detained for questioning at the time he sped off in his SUV, dragging the veteran narcotics officer, said Jane Robison, a district attorney spokeswoman.
Grant Anthony Muldrow, 21, has been charged with assaulting a police officer, kidnapping and transportation for sale of a controlled substance. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is due back in court Feb. 10.
In Thursday's incident, the officer, who has not been identified, was trying to make an arrest, Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said in a news release. He was between the open driver's side door and the door frame, holding the wheel, when the driver took off, dragging the officer along.
The SUV went "about the length of a football field," police said.
The car then crashed into a tree and a fence, and the suspect ran into the neighborhood. An intensive manhunt followed, with the LAPD Valley Bureau on modified tactical alert.
At one time, four Granada Hills schools were on lockdown, and residents in a large swath of the city were told to stay inside their homes. After five hours, the suspect was taken into custody.
The case remains under investigation by L.A. police.
Muldrow appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday. If convicted, he faces up to 13 years and eight months in state prison.