Officer’s ‘use of force reasonable’ in shooting of reckless driver

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UPDATE: Scott County Attorney Michael J. Walton released the results of an investigation of the officer-involved shooting of a reckless driver in May.

“The evidence shows Davenport Police Officer Robert Bytner’s use of force was reasonable under the circumstances,” Walton said in a summary of events statement released to the media. “It was necessary to resist deadly force and to avoid injury or death to himself, other officers, and the community.”

Nicholas Warner has been charged with three counts of assault on a police officer with a dangerous weapon (automobile), operating while intoxicated second offense, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and eluding.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Department and Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation were involved in the investigation.

EARLIER REPORT

May 18, 2018 at 3:49 p.m.

The names of an officer and a reckless driver he shot Wednesday after he hit several vehicles and a building have been released.

The officer involved in the incident is Officer Robert Bytnar, a 21-year veteran of the department.
The driver has been identified as Nicholas Travis Warner, 48, of Silvis.

Warner is listed in serious condition with a gunshot wound.

The incident is being investigated by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and Division of
Criminal Investigations (DCI). 

EARLIER REPORT

May 18, 2018 at 11:08 p.m.

It didn’t take long for Frank Hoffmaster to realize something was going on outside his Davenport home.

“I heard a lot of tire squelching,” he said. 

So he got out his phone and began to record just as a silver car tried to ram a Davenport police officer, who opened fire on the car. 

“It was really fast. We’d pretty much just woken up right before that and we were making pancakes. It was not what we expected to see this morning,” Hoffmaster said.

Nearby, Tracy Garcia also watched the scene unfold. 

“I seen a cop backing out a block up from me, and then I heard ‘pop, pop, pop,’ and then the cop flew forwards and then we turned the corner and there’s a car sitting in the middle of the road,” Garcia said. 

The driver is critical condition, according to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office. Police say no officers or bystanders were injured, but in the moment Garcia feared she could be hit.

“I’ve never been close to gunshots before, ever,” she said. “We didn’t know what we should do, if we should stop, duck or what.” 

Hoffman says he moved to the block in January and this isn’t the first crime he’s witnessed from his window.

“I feel like if you had your camera out, at all times here in Davenport you would see something like that fairly regularly,” he said.

EARLIER REPORT

A reckless driver was shot by a police officer Wednesday in Davenport after hitting several vehicles and a building. 

The Davenport Police Department responded to a report of a hit-and-run in the 600 block of North Division Street around 10:44 a.m. 

The vehicle struck two vehicles on West 6th Street just east of Division. A Davenport police officer attempted to interact with the vehicle, which fled through a residential yard onto North Division Street, striking a building on the northwest side of 6th and Division, then striking a third vehicle before continuing northbound on Division Street. Officers attempted to apprehend the driver at the intersection of North Division and West 9th Street, where the incident escalated and resulted in two rounds being fired from an officer’s service weapon. 

The person who was shot was transported to Genesis East and later airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals listed in critical condition.

The officers names are not being released at this time.

The area of the incident remains blocked off for continuing investigations. The investigation is being conducted by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Criminal Investigations.

The officer will be placed on administrative leave pending investigations.

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