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Farmington officer facing lengthy rehabilitation after being struck by stolen vehicle


Officer James O’Donnell

By Ted Glanzer

Staff Writer


FARMINGTON – A Farmington police officer was seriously injured while responding to a report of a burglary on Talcott Notch Road in the early morning hours of Sept. 20.

Officer James O’Donnell was struck and pinned against his police vehicle around 12:50 a.m. after he got out to confront the suspects, who were attempting to flee in a car that had been reported stolen out of Middletown, police said in a press release.

Other police officers chased the car a short distance before it crashed into some woods, police said. The suspect got out of the stolen vehicle and fled, police said. Multiple K-9 units seated the area, but were unable to locate the suspect, police said.

O’Donnell, a three-year veteran of the department, was taken to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, where he underwent surgery for his injuries, which included multiple broken bones, according to Lt. Tim McKenzie.

McKenzie said O’Donnell will “need a lengthy rehabilitation to fully recover from these devastating injuries. The O’Donnell family has asked for privacy during this time.”

“[T]he outpouring of support from the law enforcement community, Farmington Town Council, Farmington Board of Education, and community members, has been overwhelming and deeply touched our hearts,” McKenzie wrote in a release. “The Farmington Police Department and the O’Donnell family cannot begin to express our gratitude for all of your compassion.”

At a press conference on Sept. 20, McKenzie said it’s believed the suspects were attempting to steal catalytic converters, emission control devices that contain precious metals such as platinum, palladium or rhodium. Thefts of the devices have spiked in the past year, with older-model hybrid cars and SUVs, because of their high undercarriage, being particularly popular targets.

As of press time, the suspects were still at large. Police have asked any witnesses or anyone with any information to contact the Farmington Police Department at 860-675-2400.