Man charged in hit-and-run that left officer injured

Police say a man has been charged in connection with a hit-and-run that left an officer injured in Kensington.

Police say it happened late Tuesday night shortly before midnight.

The officer and three others were on their bikes on the sidewalk, in the 3100 block of Custer Street.

They saw a black 2009 Ford Edge driving up the street. The driver, a 44-year-old man, got out "and appeared to be highly intoxicated, stumbling forward, leaning onto his own vehicle. Officers approached the male, who then leaned back and turned and fell onto another vehicle parked on the west side of the street."

They "moved toward the male when he abruptly got back into the vehicle. As police attempted to remove the keys from the ignition, the male placed the shifter into gear and drove the vehicle forward onto the sidewalk, striking the officer, fracturing his left leg with the front passenger side fender."

Three of the four officers managed to jump out of the way but a 43-year-old -- who is a 21-year Philadelphia police veteran -- had his left leg run over, and could've easily been killed.

Instead, his leg was broken in two places. Surgeons are resetting it in two spots. Fellow officers showed up at Temple Trauma Center to show their support.

After leaving the scene, the officers with the victim called for help and officers in cars stopped the suspect nearby after he made a right turn, in the 2300 block of E. Allegheny Avenue at Emerald Street. (Click picture of motorcycle.)

Police say the 44-year-old was impaired and couldn't stand without staggering and wobbling. They also say they found an open container of alcohol in his front seat.

He was stopped and arrested under suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

The victim is in stable condition now. He was conscious on the way to the hospital but in a lot of pain. He may even be able to leave the hospital Wednesday.

According to police, Robert Sabalauskas, 44, has been charged with Aggravated Assault, DUI and related offenses.