Cocoa police officer injured in hit-and-run

- Cocoa Police say one of its officers, Rickford Leitch, smashed his motorcycle into the side of a dark blue jeep that was turning left.

It happened at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Rosa Jones Drive in Rockledge.

The officer was thrown off his bike, while the driver of the jeep kept right on going.

Medics wheeled Officer Leitch from the mangled wreck of his motorcycle.

Cocoa Police say he was in a bad state.

“He's got some road rash, broken bones in his hand, some bruises,” said Yvonne Martinez, Cocoa Police Public Information Officer, “I'm sure he'll be evaluated to see if he has a concussion. He went in and out of consciousness, post-impact.”

Leitch was part of a motorcade of a thousand bikers escorting a traveling Vietnam Wall memorial to Wickham Park in Melbourne.

He was trying to get ahead of the motorcade to stop traffic at the intersection, but police say a dark blue jeep had also gotten mixed into the group of bikers.

“...When the vehicle that got caught in the procession pulled right in front of him,” Martinez said.

They say Leitch smashed into the driver's side door.

He was medevacked to Holmes Regional Hospital for treatment.

“Officer Leitch is a good guy and he's very passionate about the motorcycle and traffic enforcement,” Martinez said, “he loves what he does, so this is an unfortunate incident. Being a motor officer is not an easy job. Doing these escorts is not an easy thing.”

They say Leitch is in stable condition and they expect him to make a full recovery.

Rockledge Police are now hunting for that dark blue jeep and its driver.

They say the jeep has extensive damage on the driver's side and describe the driver as a black male in his 20s or 30s with short dreds and a goatee.

Police say if the driver had stopped, he might have just been cited with a minor traffic penalty.

Now, he could be looking at a felony hit-and-run charge.

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