Crime & Courts

Driver accused of assaulting officer with car during police chase sentenced to prison

Police Search for suspect who drove at motorcycle officer

A Wichita police motorcycle officer shot at a driver who was trying to crash into him Tuesday afternoon, officials said. Emergency crews were called to the area of Kellogg and Webb in east Wichita at around 3:15 p.m.
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A Wichita police motorcycle officer shot at a driver who was trying to crash into him Tuesday afternoon, officials said. Emergency crews were called to the area of Kellogg and Webb in east Wichita at around 3:15 p.m.

The driver accused of assaulting a motorcycle officer with a car during a police chase last fall has been sentenced to prison.

The police chase involved the officer shooting at the car near Club Rodeo before its driver ran into a wooded area, where he was arrested with the help of a K-9 dog after a SWAT team was called out.

Sedgwick County District Court records show Brandon R. Hanafin, 34, was sentenced Tuesday to 16 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections. He pleaded guilty last month to felony flee and elude and misdemeanor assault of a law enforcement officer.

Prosecutors originally charged Hanafin with felony aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, alleging that he placed an officer “in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm, with a deadly weapon.” The weapon was a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier.

A police detective wrote in court documents that the officer was checking for traffic issues in a construction area at around 3:15 p.m. Nov. 27 on East Kellogg between Rock and Webb. His LIDAR clocked a speeding car traveling 56 mph in a 40 mph zone.

The officer turned on his motorcycle’s lights and sirens. The driver of the Cavalier made a U-turn, traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of Kellogg. The car then turned south on Webb and went into a field behind Club Rodeo. The motorcycle cop drove along the opposite side of the club.

The officer stopped his motorcycle “so that when the Chevrolet pulled out onto Orme it would be able to continue to drive westbound on Orme away from the officer,” the detective wrote in the document.

But the Chevy didn’t continue west. Instead, the car turned east toward the officer and accelerated, police said.

The officer “believed that the only reason for the Chevrolet to turn towards him was to try to hit or knock him off of his motorcycle, which he believed could have caused great bodily injury and/or death, and placed him in fear,” the detective wrote. “... the officer then fired two shots at the driver to try to stop him from hitting him.”

The driver swerved away as the officer fired the rounds. One bullet hit the hood of the car and the other hit the driver’s door, police said in court documents. The driver then ran into a wooded area, and a SWAT team, law enforcement drone, K-9 unit and Kansas Highway Patrol airplane were called out. Hanafin was found hiding in a grassy field just south of the Kansas Turnpike.

Police said at the time that a K-9 dog helped take a suspect into custody. After his arrest, Hanafin was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He was later booked into the Sedgwick County Jail. The officer was not hurt.

While in the ambulance, Hanafin said he was chased by the officer and that “he knew he had warrants for traffic and child support,” the detective said. Hanafin wrote in court documents that he is unemployed.

Court records show Hanafin’s criminal history includes 29 convictions since 2002. They include aggravated assault, battery, DUI and traffic violations.

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