NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Police in New Bedford are asking for the public’s help as they continue to search for a suspect who allegedly dragged an officer during a traffic stop on Route 18.
The New Bedford Police Department said it has been looking to locate Todd Blackler, 50, since Friday, Oct. 6, when an officer initially pulled over a vehicle he was riding in around 1:30 p.m.
According to the department, Officer James Marinelli initiated the traffic stop after he noticed a reported stolen vehicle travelling on Route 18 southbound.
Police said the stop was conducted at the Conway Street intersection, where Marinelli approached the driver, later identified as Blackler’s wife, Kendra, 38.
During the stop, authorities said Kendra exited the vehicle to speak with the officer. It was as she went to spoke with him on the sidewalk that Marinelli noticed Todd Blackler shift into the driver’s seat.
“Ofc. Marinelli quickly returned to the driver’s side door to secure him,” the department said in a Facebook post. “A brief struggle ensued during which Todd shifted into drive and accelerated forward, causing Ofc. Marinelli to be dragged alongside the vehicle for an estimated 90 feet.”
According to New Bedford PD, Marinelli suffered minor injuries as a result while Blackler, who had active warrants for his arrest at the time, was able to drive off.
Police said Kendra Blackler was taken into custody after she allegedly tried to flee the scene on foot and has since been charged with larceny of a motor vehicle and failing to stop for police.
As their investigation continues, New Bedford PD asks that anyone with information on Todd Blackler’s whereabouts contact the department.
Those who wish to remain anonymous can reach out via 508-99-CRIME or through the department’s website.
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