Teen arrested for dragging Florida trooper 100 feet during traffic stop

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A man has been arrested on attempted murder charges for dragging a Florida state trooper about 100 feet (30 meters) by a car during a traffic stop, a law enforcement official said Thursday.

Christopher Stephan Lewis, 19, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, said Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes.

  Lewis was a passenger in a car that fled a traffic stop in Orlando on Wednesday, before it was forced to stop at a train crossing, Montes said. 

The male driver fled on foot but returned after the train passed and attempted to get back in as Trooper Victor Rivera tried to tackle him. Meanwhile, Lewis shifted to the driver's seat and drove off, dragging both men, the spokeswoman said. The original driver managed to re-enter the car, and the trooper let go.  Rivera, 29, was treated at a hospital for minor injuries, Montes said.

“It takes something so simple as a speeding ticket and escalates it into attempted first-degree murder," Montes said. "I think people have to sit and think, 'Is it worth that?” 

The driver of the car, identified as 22-year-old Ellijah Wilson, is cooperating with troopers in the investigation, they said.  He will be charged with fleeing an officer, resisting without violence, speeding (81 mph (130 km/h) in a posted 40 mph (64 km/h) zone), and driving on a revoked license, Montes said. 

A 17-year-old juvenile who was in the back seat was charged with obstruction for lying to officials, she said.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.