LAKEWOOD — A police officer was struck by a vehicle as he walked toward it on Thursday.

Lakewood Police vehicle (Lakewood Scoop)

As Officer Tyler Distefano and Detective Sgt. Jason Pederson walked towards a parked Nissan Altima on Locust Street, the car drove straight at them, hitting Pederson, according to a statement from Lakewood Police issued to the Asbury Park Press. Pederson landed on the hood and then rolled to the ground.

The officers were investigating "suspicious activity" involving drugs, according to the report.

The Nissan drove off and was later found by Jackson Police on Bluebell Court, just over the border with Lakewood. After police set up a perimeter around the home, the driver of the Nissan, Rashad Anderson, 30, was taken into custody around 9:20 p.m.

Anderson will likely face criminal charges for aggravated assault of a police officer as well as eluding, according to the statement.

Pederson was taken to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood to be checked over, and was released.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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