Police say Lincoln man hit officer with stolen car, then continued spree

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A 28-year-old Lincoln man wanted on warrants accelerated toward two officers, hitting and injuring one of them, in a stolen Toyota Solara in a parking lot at 48th and O streets Thursday afternoon, police say.

Police ultimately arrested Zacharia Hughes on the felony warrant and on suspicion of second-degree assault on an officer, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, theft by receiving stolen property and theft by unlawful taking, among other charges.

Officer Erin Spilker said earlier in the day Hughes had been seen driving the car reported stolen Wednesday, and was a suspect in two shoplifting reports.

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With the help of the Nebraska State Patrol Air Wing, investigators found the car in the Super Saver parking lot at around 3 p.m. She said when two investigators approached, Hughes was outside the car, but ran back to it, then accelerated toward the officers.

One was hit in both legs and his arm, causing non-life-threatening injuries.

Spilker said police didn’t pursue him then because of his dangerous driving. But the State Patrol tracked him from above to the area of Cotner Boulevard between Adams and Fremont streets, where he allegedly stole a man’s work truck, a 2018 Chevrolet Colorado.

She said Hughes then traveled across the city, causing several accidents, driving on sidewalks and at times into on-coming traffic.

Zacharia Hughes

Zacharia Hughes

Hughes crashed at 48th and Nebraska 2, but kept heading south until he got into another crash at 48th and Old Cheney, where the truck was disabled, Spilker said. 

She said Hughes ran but was caught and taken into custody after a struggle around 3:30 p.m. He was taken to the hospital for injuries in the crashes, then went to the jail.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger

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