Lynchburg police have released the name of the man who fell off his horse Saturday night and was hit by a police car.  57-year-old Steve Rucker, Jr. of Amherst is currently in serious but stable condition at Lynchburg General Hospital.   Police said Rucker was accidentally hit after he rode his horse through downtown Lynchburg Saturday night –with police cars following.   State police are now investigating and the officer who hit him is on restricted duty.

Earlier: Lynchburg police say  a wanted man was seriously injured when he fell off the horse while fleeing police and was hit by a police vehicle. Police responded to 5th and Commerce Street downtown around 7:45 p.m. Saturday regarding an individual who was riding a horse. He was wanted for violating a protective order. The man fled on his horse but fell off about 15 minutes later at 15th and Polk Streets while officers were attempting to stop him. Police say one of the officers accidentally struck the man with a vehicle as he was lying in the road. The man was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. The horse was not injured.   State police are now investigating.  The officer is on restricted duty.

Here is the entire news release from Lynchburg Police:

For Immediate Release: March 21, 2021 

Officer-Involved Accident

LYNCHBURG, Va. – On March 20, 2021 at 7:49 p.m., officers responded to the intersection of 5th and Commerce Streets for a report of a wanted individual who was riding a horse. 

Officers informed the individual he had a warrant for violating a protective order, but the individual would not comply with officers’ orders. The individual then fled from officers on his horse, riding head-on into traffic. Officers continued to give commands to the individual to stop riding his horse for his safety as well as the safety of drivers and passengers. 

Approximately 14 minutes later, the individual fell off his horse at 15th and Polk Streets while officers were still attempting to stop the individual. As officers approached him, an officer accidentally struck the individual with a vehicle as he was laying in the roadway. Officers immediately rendered aid and requested the Lynchburg Fire Department for medical assistance.  The individual was transported to Lynchburg General Hospital with serious injuries. The horse was not injured and was safely turned over to the individual’s family. 

The LPD requested the Virginia State Police (VSP) investigate this incident. As a result of the ongoing VSP investigation, the LPD will not release body-worn camera footage at this time. 

The LPD also is conducting an internal investigation. Per LPD policy, the involved officer has been placed on restricted duty. As is our practice, the LPD will release the involved officer’s name within seven days, pending the results of a threat assessment. 

This is an ongoing investigation. Any additional information will be released as an update to this news release.