Attorney: Man was on meds when he hit detective with SUV in parking lot

Attorney: Man was on meds when he hit detective with SUV in parking lot

PITTSBURGH — A man will stand trial for hitting a Pittsburgh police detective with a vehicle in April after allegedly shoplifting from a grocery store in Shadyside.

Police said Willard Hopkins put his SUV in reverse and accelerated backward when a detective working security detail approached him in the parking lot of the Giant Eagle Market District. The detective was knocked to the ground by the SUV’s door and suffered several cuts.

A surveillance camera captured the incident in the parking lot. Investigators said the detective thought Hopkins was trying to run him over.

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Hopkins, who fled the scene, was arrested three days later at his home in Carnegie and admitted to the incident. Charges against him include aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and retail theft.

On Monday, charges against Hopkins were held for court during a preliminary hearing.

Hopkins is remorseful, according to attorney Pat Thomassey, who said his client took medication and wasn’t in the right state of mind during the incident.

“My client was on some meds that night. His recollection of what occurred is not good. He shouldn’t have been driving and he knows that,” Thomassey said. “Thankfully, as I said, the police officer was not seriously injured, and I’m not minimizing it. He was off work for a month and doesn’t have any permanent injury, which is good. This could’ve been much worse.”