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Man from Maine charged in hit and run involving state trooper

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A man from Maine is behind bars after hitting a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper with his car while fleeing the scene of a traffic stop.

Galen Bradford Sailer, 27, of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, has been charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and leaving the scene of an accident following Wednesday morning’s incident. Sailer is currently being held in the Laclede County Jail with bond denied, according to court records.

The trooper, whose name has not been released, was released from the hospital Wednesday and is at home recovering, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Court records indicate that a trooper conducted a traffic stop at about 7:28 a.m. Wednesday on West Elm Street near the Waffle House. Just a few moments after the trooper radioed in the traffic stop, the trooper requested emergency backup. Just two minutes later, a civilian using the trooper’s portable radio announced that the officer was down.

The trooper was able to later report that he had conducted a traffic stop on a car driven by Sailer for speeding on the Interstate 44. As the trooper tried to pull him over, Sailer exited the interstate and pulled into the nearby restaurant and stopped.

When the trooper made contact with Sailer, he reportedly became “extremely agitated.” He told the trooper that his brother had been killed by a police officer. Sailer started rolling his window up, leading the trooper to believe that he was about to flee, so he started to return to his patrol car. Sailer allegedly began circling the trooper in his car and then traveled towards him, hitting the trooper with the front passenger side of his car. After the car hit the trooper, it continued to move forward, dragging him along the parking lot before pinning him against a steel pillar in the parking lot before fleeing the parking lot, according to court documents.

While the trooper was being transported to Mercy Hospital Springfield for treatment, the Lebanon Police Department tracked Sailer to the Jones Truck Stop, where Sailer had driven after the alleged assault. During an interview at the police station, Sailer allegedly told an LPD detective that he had intentionally struck the trooper. He said he had been driving to Arizona to attend his brother’s funeral, reiterating that his brother had been killed by an officer, the report says.

According to the court document, the Mesa, Ariz. Police Department had issued a bulletin on Feb. 9 (the day before the incident), saying that Sailer had made statements “to family members threatening to kill police officers in retaliation for police officers killing his younger brother on Feb. 7, 2021.”

Sailer is being represented by attorney Clinton Christopher Allen of Lebanon. An initial court date had not been set as of press time.

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