Man held on $500,000 bail for trying to run officer over

Monday, June 28, 2010 | 6:41 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Police arrested a man Sunday night for attempting to run over an officer with a vehicle that was reported stolen, police said.

Ashraf Habimana, 23, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree tampering with a vehicle and first-degree assault of an officer after police received a call of an exhibitionist at 10:30 p.m., Public Information Officer Jessie Haden said in an e-mail.

Police arrived at Southside Pizza, 3911 Peachtree Drive, where they discovered Habimana in the driver's seat of a black Jeep Cherokee.

Habimana's pants were undone in the Jeep and the owner of the restaurant, a 29-year-old male, stood at the car and told Habimana to stop what he was doing, Haden's e-mail said.

While approaching, the first officer also told Habimana to stop. Habimana accelerated the vehicle while looking at the officer, Haden said. The officer was near a fence and "had to jump completely off the ground and grab on to the fence to avoid being struck."

Habimana drove off and a second officer followed him, Haden said. Habimana drove east on Peachtree Drive, north on the outer road and right onto Nifong Boulevard, where he drove into the westbound lanes and collided with a silver Dodge Stratus.

A 20-year-old female and 22-year-old male were in the Stratus, Haden said. Neither was injured.

The first officer saw Habimana "holding a 40 ounce bottle of alcohol while he was attempting to run him over and when he drove off," Haden said. The owner of the restaurant told officers Habimana appeared intoxicated.

Earlier, while Habimana was inside the restaurant, another person had reported the exhibitionism.

The Jeep had been reported to the Boone County Sheriff's Department as stolen.

Habimana was taken to Boone County Jail where, according to Missouri, he is being held on a $500,000 bail.

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