Exclusive: Tampa police captain, Stephen Harnett, recalls when suspect rammed him with car
7:47 PM, Feb 5, 2014
1:48 AM, Feb 6, 2014
TAMPA - Tampa Police Captain Stephen Harnett is not officially back at work.
He's on light duty after a police said Jamie Parchmon, 29, rammed into him with his car.
The frightening chain of events on January 15 led to a barrage of gunfire at the intersection of East Genesee Street and 39th Street in Tampa.
As a high ranking officer, Captain Hartnett is not typically on patrol. But he heard chatter on his way to work of police trying to bust a theft ring.
"You are still a policeman and it just happened because of that timing and positioning. I was right there," said Hartnett.
The captain specializes in teaching officers how to drive in dangerous situations.
He had no idea he would be using those skills that day to box in the suspect's vehicle.
Once he did, he got out of his car and drew his weapon. But, he said knew he was in trouble.
"There was no doubt that I was in front of that car. When I was looking into that windshield and looking at that individual, I knew it was self-preservation," said Hartnett. "The intent was not only to get away, but I am going to get away at all cost."
Hartnett said at that moment his years of training kicked in. Most importantly he stayed calm.
"The probability of being hit and run over by a car are not very good, but my intent was to minimize my injury," said Hartnett.
He is still on crutches. His pelvis is fractured, has several torn ligaments and needs surgery.
Yet, he showed up to lead a training class.
It is that training he has given other officers that likely helped save his life.
"We are in a high risk job and we do train for probabilities so that officers know how to react and not to panic, " said Hartnett.
After Hartnett was hit, another officer fired at Parchom and hit in him in the shoulder.
Police managed to catch him a short distance away.
Parchom is jail facing a slew of charges including aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer.
While Harnett wants justice, he says he insists he was just doing his job.
"No matter what you do just try to do your best and lead by example," said Hartnett.