ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The outlook is grim for an Englewood Police officer who was critically injured in a hit-and-run.
Police say 20-year-old Conner Donohue was driving drunk when he hit Officer Jeremy Bitner and another man on S. Broadway near Belleview Ave. in Centennial early Monday.
Bitner had pulled over Kevin Montoya and the two were standing next to the patrol car when they were hit. Investigators say Donohue kept going and was arrested several miles away in Littleton.
He faces an appearance in Arapahoe County Court Tuesday on charges of vehicular assault and DUI.
Friends and family of the injured officer spent Monday at Swedish Medical Center. They embraced each other outside the hospital. Family members said Bitner would be removed from life support.
He’s an 8-year veteran of the Englewood Police force. He’s also a husband and a father.
"It’s traumatic for everyone involved,” says Englewood Police spokesman Perry Schellpfeffer. “It was a serious accident and we're taking it very hard."
It happened just after midnight Monday. A traffic stop quickly became a frantic police call for help. Officer: “Start medic, I’ve got officer Bitner. He’s been hit, he’s down, officer down.”
Moments before that call Bitner and Montoya were discussing Montoya’s ticket outside when it happened.
Dispatcher: “201, can you advise if he is conscious or breathing?”
Officer: “He is not conscious, he is not breathing.”
Investigators say Conner Donohue was driving a Nissan Pathfinder that hit both men. They say he was drunk and tried to run away but Littleton Police found him a short time later about four miles away.
Bitner and Montoya were transported to Swedish in critical condition.
Montoya, 20, was doing better Tuesday. He was in stable condition.
The Englewood Police Department remains strong, but shaken. “He’s just a great guy, a good cop. Just a good guy to work with,” Perry says about Bitner.
Donohue’s MySpace page says he graduated from Rangeview High School in Aurora in 2010. Police say he had a clean record prior to Monday’s incident.