ROCK ISLAND — Two East Moline Police officers who discharged their weapons during an arrest last month have been cleared by acting Rock Island County State's Attorney Patricia Castro.
According to a report released Friday by Castro, the incident occurred on the evening of May 25 when a vehicle connected to an active BOLO (“be-on-the-lookout”) alert issued by the Moline Police Department fled from an East Moline officer during a traffic stop.
After a pursuit, East Moline Police officers Ryan Clark and Logan Wolfe managed to stop the vehicle in the area of 40th Avenue and 7th Street in East Moline.
The driver, Mackenzie Paxton, a white female, immediately complied with officers' commands to shut off the vehicle, according to the state’s attorney's report.
But the front-seat passenger, 25-year-old Darold Strunk, a white male, exited the vehicle and began firing a pistol at Clark after ignoring verbal commands to drop the weapon, the report said.
Clark and Wolfe returned fire at Strunk, according to the report. Strunk was subdued and taken into custody after a short foot pursuit. He was hospitalized for a few days for non-life-threatening injuries, then released into the custody of the Rock Island County Jail.
In her report, Castro concluded that the officers were justified in their use of force. Charges will not be filed against either officer, she said.
“A police officer has the right to use force he reasonably believes is necessary to effectuate an arrest,” Castro said. “The officer may use deadly force against a person using a deadly weapon that is resisting arrest.”
Castro concluded that both officers were "reasonable and justified in their encounter with Darold Strunk on May 25, 2019.”
Strunk has been charged with a class X felony of aggravated discharge of a firearm, and no further details about the incident will be released while charges are pending.
The state's attorney report came after the incident was investigated by the Rock Island County Integrity Task Force.
Helping to determine whether there was wrongdoing on the part of police officers in situations like an officer-involved shooting is the point of the task force, which is comprised of representatives of local, county and state law enforcement.
When the task force is activated, every member agency but the one that is the subject of the inquiry provides investigators.