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October 28, 2011

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Suspect in court after minibus mows down police

A drunk-driving suspect who allegedly hit and seriously injured a traffic policeman during a road check appeared yesterday for the first time at the Songjiang District People's Court.

Prosecutors said the incident happened around 8:30pm on June 1, when traffic officer Qian Yong and assistant Wang Rende were checking vehicles for drunk drivers at the intersection of Yushu Road and Cangfeng Road.

They stopped Zhao Huiqiang, 27, who was driving a blue minibus, and asked him to take a blood-alcohol test.

The result showed his blood-alcohol level was 115 milligrams per 100 milliliters, while the threshold for drunk driving is 80mg/100ml, prosecutors said.

While the officers were distracted, Zhao gunned the engine and fled, hitting Qian and Wang, who attempted to stop him with tear gas.

Prosecutors said Qian fractured his skull, ribs and shoulder.

In court, Zhao denied causing intentional injury, claiming he did not knock the officers down on purpose. He said: "I could hardly open my eyes or see them after they sprayed the gas."

But Zhao admitted he failed to stop and drove to a nearby residential area, where he abandoned the minibus and fled by taxi.

He said: "I was scared when the officer said I would be jailed for six months. I thought I would just be detained for 15 days and could choose a time to go to the police."

Zhao was detained three days later, the court heard. Prosecutors said Zhao failed to report to the police during those three days. The court announced no verdict yesterday.


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