Melbourne police officer’s knee ‘crushed’ while being dragged by Lexus, officials say

Charlie Taranto faces attempted murder charge

Charlie Taranto.
Charlie Taranto.

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Melbourne police officer’s knee was “crushed” when he was dragged by a suspect’s vehicle and then nearly run over Sunday near a Walmart, an arrest affidavit said.

Charlie Taranto, 22, of Satellite Beach, was arrested on several charges, including attempted murder, leaving the scene of a crash, resisting arrest and using a firearm during a felony.

According to authorities, the officer, identified only as Officer Gould, discovered a suspicious vehicle behind the Walmart at 1001 E. Eau Gallie Boulevard and found Taranto slumped over in the driver’s seat. Gould tapped on the window of the Lexus, but Taranto initially did not respond, the affidavit stated.

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Officials said Taranto then woke up, and Gould could smell marijuana coming from the car.

When Gould opened the car door asked the man to get out of the vehicle, Taranto put the car in reverse, dragging the officer, police said.

The affidavit said Gould’s knee was “crushed” between two vehicles before he fell to the ground. Taranto then made a U-turn and drove toward Gould, who had to roll under the bumper of his cruiser to avoid being run over, according to the affidavit.

Taranto drove away recklessly but was later located at an apartment complex in Indian Harbor Beach, where he was taken into custody, said officials, adding that a gun was found in his waistband.

Taranto was arrested and taken to Melbourne Regional Hospital, where police said he admitted to the incident.

Taranto was later taken to the Brevard County Jail.

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