Officer gets hand caught in suspect's window

Posted at 5:38 PM, Sep 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-10 17:38:01-04

A Lake Wales police officer who survived a shooting this past March, had another close call this week during a traffic stop.

Officer John Schwarze got his hand caught in the window, when a fleeing suspect quickly rolled it up and sped off with a four year old child in the backseat.

Another officer initially stopped the suspect, identified as Fenel Celestin, for a simple window tinting violation. Officer Schwarze stopped by to help after they notice the smell of marijuana coming from the car.

"With the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle they were going to detain him and search the vehicle," said Troy Schulze, with the Lake Wales Police Department.

The suspect told the officer, "I don't have time for this," according to the report.

The dashboard camera shows the suspect quickly roll up his window with Officer Schwarze's hand resting on top, and then speeding away. Schwarze had to run with the car for a few steps until he could free his hand.

"If he wasn't able to break free, that would have been really bad, in a very short distance of time," Schulze said.

The other officer on scene quickly began to chase the suspect but stops a few minutes later. The chase was called off for the safety of the child in the car and since school was just let out.

"With the risk and the danger to the public, Officer Schwarze, who was the officer in charge at the time, cancelled the pursuit," Schulze said.

After police cancelled the chase, it was only a matter of minutes until investigators got a tip that the suspect was hiding out in a house just feet away from where the pursuit began.

Officer surrounded the home and arreste Celestin without incident.

Running from police was by no means his first run in with the law. Celestin has been booked countless times on drugs and other charges in the past.

A neighbor of his refered to him as a "known career criminal."