GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP — Two teenagers were arrested Wednesday night after dragging a police officer almost 50 feet with their car, which crashed into a tree.

The incident left the cop with bruises to his head, arm, knee and ankle. The two 17-year-olds were charged with assaulting a cop and marijuana-dealing offenses.

Township police released surveillance and bodycam video from the confrontation about 11 p.m. in the nearly empty parking lot of a Howard Johnson Hotel on North Black Horse Pike.

Police said Officer Craig Walsh pulled up to the teens’ vehicle with his police car’s emergency lights flashing after seeing a young man run from the hotel into the car that had been parked in the middle of the driveway.

When Walsh approached the teens’ car, it was turned off and the passenger door was wide open.

As Walsh begins to speak to the teens, the video shows that the car turns on and flies in reverse with Walsh trapped by the open door.

In the bodycam video, Walsh can be heard telling the teens to turn off the car and then shouting profanity and calling for backup as he’s quickly dragged away.

After the teen driver crashes the car, the teens can be heard saying “chill, chill, chill, chill” and “don’t shoot, bro; don’t shoot.”

Backup arrives almost immediately.

After the car crashed into a tree, the airbags deployed. Two teens were charged Aug. 21, 2019, with assaulting a cop. (Gloucester Township Police Dept.)

Police said Walsh had his foot run over by the car and another officer injured his shoulder while removing one of the teens from the car.

Edited surveillance and bodycam video is below. An unedited version with strong language is available at this link.

Both teens were charged as juveniles with eluding, aggravated assault on a cop, assault by auto, possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute in a park zone and money laundering.

"This incident is a clear reminder of how the men and women of the Gloucester Township Police Department display the greatest courage and work selflessly in protecting the community,” Chief Harry Earle said Thursday in a prepared statement. “Their efforts have resulted in a significant reduction in crime and that is only because of the actions like Officer Walsh who dedicate himself to protecting others."

The arrest happened hours after media reports revealed that two other of the department’s officers had been arrested on DWI charges on the same night last month.

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