A PSNI officer suffered bruising and whiplash injuries after his car was rammed and almost forced into the sea in Co Antrim.
One local politician said it was shocking that someone had used a vehicle as a weapon to attack police.
The incident happened when the officer was on patrol in the High Street and harbour areas of Carnlough and noticed a suspicious vehicle around 1am yesterday.
After parking in front of the suspect vehicle, a silver Jeep, the officer’s car was rammed and pushed towards the water.
East Antrim UUP MLA Roy Beggs said the attack could have resulted in more serious consequences.
“The vehicle was used as a weapon to damage the police car,” he said.
“We have to be thankful of the bravery of the officer who tried to follow the criminal involved despite the injuries he had sustained.”
PSNI Inspector Peter Duncan said the officer was conducting a proactive patrol in the High Street and harbour areas when he noticed the suspicious vehicle.
“He approached the silver Jeep, positioning his unmarked police car in front of the suspect vehicle,” he explained.
“He was attempting to get out when his patrol vehicle was rammed and almost pushed into the water. The Jeep then made off at speed.
“The officer immediately pursued the suspect car but had to suspend the pursuit due to the extensive damage caused to his vehicle.
“The Jeep was later found abandoned and has been seized for forensic examination.
“The injured officer sustained bruising and whiplash type injuries but continued his shift.”
Inspector Duncan added: “I would commend the officer for both his bravery and resilience and wish him a speedy recovery.”
East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said it was the latest in a spate of incidents in the village.
“There have been a number of incidents involving vehicles in the area, particularly since Christmas,” he said.
“While this might have been a random incident, the fear is that it’s not and that police are being targeted and goaded into a reaction.
“The last thing I want is to be seeing an accident that leads to a very serious injury or, worse, a fatality. Unfortunately, if incidents like this are repeated, that’s where we are heading.”
East Antrim DUP MLA Gordon Lyons called the attack “sinister”.
“Carnlough is a town that many tourists pass through and this type of activity is totally unwelcome,” he said.
“Police should not be intimidated while on patrol. They are there to uphold law and order and to protect the honest, hard-working citizens that live here.”
Sinn Fein councillor James McKeown called on the community to help combat the problem of dangerous driving.
“I have been calling for a stronger police presence on the ground to try to deter this reckless behaviour,” he said.
“I appeal to people to stop and think about their actions and the consequences that could follow.”
Police said they are treating the incident as a traffic offence.
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