Crime & Courts

Evidence gathered for possible charges in case of injured officer

Officer Brian Arterburn
Officer Brian Arterburn Courtesy photo

Wichita police are preparing to take evidence against the man accused of critically injuring an officer to prosecutors for possible criminal charges.

The department is scheduled to present its case against Justin F. Terrazas to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office on Friday morning, said Dan Dillon, the DA’s spokesman.

The public could learn as early as Friday afternoon what counts Terrazas might face in connection with injuries Officer Brian Arterburn suffered to his chest, abdomen and brain after being run over by a stolen car on Tuesday afternoon near Topeka and Kincaid.

Arterburn, a 25-year veteran of the police department, was in the area investigating an auto theft case in which Terrazas is a suspect and looking for a person with felony warrants when he was struck.

Wichita police Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said during a media briefing Thursday morning that Arterburn was still in critical condition after undergoing emergency surgery Tuesday at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis. The department is encouraging people to wear blue on Friday and use the hashtag #BlueForBrian on social media to support him.

Terrazas, 31, was arrested Tuesday and booked on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, as well as on suspicion of two counts of theft, according to police and jail records.

He remained incarcerated Thursday in lieu of bonds totaling $510,000.

Meanwhile on Thursday, police continued to document the crime scene where Arterburn was struck, including temporarily blocking off the intersection of Kincaid and Topeka.

“We are not doing a full re-enactment,” Wichita police Sgt. Brad Elmore said.

At one point during the morning, one officer stood in the middle of Topeka, facing north, and two vehicles – a small car and a full-size black Chevrolet Tahoe – were parked about 20 yards north of the intersection. The vehicles were facing south, toward the officer.

The Tahoe then drove through the intersection to where the officer had been standing.

Two crime scene investigators walked near the intersection with cameras, photographing the area from different vantage points.

Police finished working in the area shortly before noon.

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