19-year-old accused of trying to steal police cruiser with officer inside

ATTLEBORO, MA (WHDH) - An Attleboro police officer is recovering after a violent encounter with a teenager who authorities say attempted to commandeer his cruiser while high on drugs.

Handcuffed to his hospital bed, Christopher Veloz, 19, was arraigned Monday on an array of charges. Veloz is accused of getting high on marijuana and mushrooms, and attempting to steal the police cruiser with the officer inside.

“The defendant appeared to be under the influence of drugs, rushed the officer, and attempted to get into the officers car,” prosecutors said.

Officer Joseph Daday, a 15-year veteran and DARE officer in the city, responded Saturday around 4 a.m. to County Street for reports of a man trying to gain entry into passing cars.

“He stopped directly in front of my car, so I had to put my brakes on, and he went over to my drivers side door and tried to open it,” one woman told 7News.

The motorist said that thankfully her door was locked and that she sped off unharmed.

Police say when Daday responded and got out of his cruiser, Veloz rushed at him, pushing him back into the cruiser before taking off and then hitting a pole. Daday’s leg was left hanging out of the cruiser and pinned. He suffered a broken ankle and cuts to the head.

Other officers arrived to help, taking Veloz into custody. Police say Veloz tried several times to escape custody at the hospital, saying somebody was after him.

“That could have happened to me, and luckily he called for backup officers and he had that help,” the woman said.

Daday is home from the hospital, but faces a lengthy recovery. Veloz was ordered held behind bars pending a dangerousness hearing on Friday.

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