Motorist Wounded When Officer Drops Gun

NEWARK, Ohio (AP) - A motorist was shot and wounded Friday by a gun that an officer dropped during a struggle, according to a preliminary investigation.

Trent Rolf, 25, of Newark, was shot in the stomach following an eight-minute chase that began in this central Ohio city and ended in neighboring Heath, Licking County Prosecutor Bob Becker said.

Rolf was taken to Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus. Hospital officials would not disclose his condition, but Becker said reports show the injury was not life-threatening.

Becker said police were sent to a home in Newark, about 30 miles east of Columbus, on a criminal damaging complaint about 3:30 a.m. Officers en route to the house spotted a car believed to be involved in the complaint and began to pursue it, along with other officers.

Police stopped the car, and Charles Roberts, a 10-year veteran with Newark police, had his gun drawn as he approached the vehicle, Becker said. He said the gun went off when Roberts dropped it during a struggle as officers tried to remove Rolf from the vehicle.

A passenger in the car was not injured.

The police department declined to comment, referring question to the prosecutor.

Becker said no charges had been filed. Roberts has been assigned to desk duty temporarily, which is routine in such cases.

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