by David Spunt, Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —   Philadelphia Police have released the identity of the man suspected of hitting an officer with his car and then leaving the scene.

Authorities say 26-year-old Maurice Taylor, of the 1500 block of Ellsworth Street, was driving the 2003 Silver Volkswagen Passat that struck the officer on the 2700 block of Sears Street at about 6:40 Monday night.

Maurice Taylor, 26, is suspected of hitting a Philadelphia police officer with his car and then fleeing the scene. (photo credit Philadelphia Police)

Maurice Taylor, 26, is suspected of hitting a Philadelphia police officer with his car and then fleeing the scene. (photo credit Philadelphia Police)

 

The 26-year-old police officer was rushed to Jefferson Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Chief Inspector Scott Small told Eyewitness News the officer responded to a call of a man with a gun in the Grays Ferry area of the city around 6:30 p.m. Monday. Small says the man jumped into a car with two others inside, drove at a high rate of speed the wrong way down Sears Street and hit the police officer.

The officer landed on a windshield, broke his leg and cracked his head. The suspect jumped out of the car and ran on foot. “It’s very cowardly you’re going to use a car to strike a pedestrian,” Small told Eyewitness News.

Witnesses say children were outside when the car sped down the one way street. “Thank God none of the children got hurt,” neighbor Alan Johnson told Eyewitness News.

Some of Johnson’s neighbors helped give aid to the police officer until the ambulance arrived.

“He was just laying there like nobody was there to help him until the neighbors came out to help him,” Ella Best told CBS 3’s Walt Hunter.

Best and fellow neighbors like Rachel Smith racing to the officer’s side as he was sprawled in the street.

“Towels, towels we brought,” explained Smith.”We put pressure to his head so he wouldn’t keep on bleeding.”

“I’m glad the people in the neighborhood helped him. That’s deeply appreciated,” Johnson said.

And the neighbors told Hunter, they want the officer to know they are thinking of him and praying for him.

“Get better and go home,” said Smith.”Be home for Christmas.”

“It just goes to show there are some really good people out there that are willing to help police in times of emergency,” Small said.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Maurice Taylor is asked to please contact South Detective Division at 215-686-3013 or dial 911.