Drive, he said

A police officer's foot, and several innocent vehicles, are injured during an escape attempt by a would-be john.

Published June 5, 2001 7:07PM (EDT)

A Pennsylvania man wanted to buy some sex late Friday night, and by Saturday morning he was in jail and a cop had a run-over foot, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Ordinarily, 30-year-old William Gaunt, of Duquesne, Pa., drives a van for Access Paratransit, a service that provides transportation for elderly and disabled citizens. This time he was hoping to pick up a prostitute. The prostitute he solicited was actually an undercover police officer. After Gaunt requested the undercover officer's services, a second officer came over and stuck his head in the van's window. He ordered Gaunt to turn off the car, but Gaunt hit the gas instead.

The second officer, Aaron Beatty, had his arm in the van and his foot in front of the tire when Gaunt drove away. His shoulder was injured and his foot was bruised, but he sustained no broken bones, according to Allegheny General Hospital.

Gaunt, a professional driver, hit three parked cars while fleeing the scene. He and an unidentified passenger then jumped out of the van and ran. Police caught Gaunt and brought him to Allegheny County Jail. He's charged with aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest, solicitation and prostitution.

"He'll never drive for Access again," said Eileen Caputo, a coordinator at Access Paratransit.

Officer Beatty is recovering at home. The number of "flatfoot" jokes made so far has not yet been released.

By Chris Colin

Chris Colin is the author most recently of "Blindsight," published by the Atavist.

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