ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Two men are in custody after police said one tried to use fake bills and the other hit an officer with his car during the same incident Tuesday night.
Dennis Vehlewald, 22, was charged with first-degree assault of a special victim, armed criminal action and resisting arrest after police said he hit an officer with his car. The man officers were chasing after, 25-year-old Cory Clasen, was charged with forgery and resisting arrest.
Officers with the North County Cooperative said they were called to the O'Reilly Auto Parts on Page at around 6 p.m. Tuesday after Clasen tried to pass counterfeit bills. While the officers were at the store, he came back, and the two officers started chasing after him.
One of the officers took the lead in the foot chase, so Sergeant Lynn Woodard turned his attention to other suspects parked nearby.
"The car backed out of its spot, [I] heard the tires squeal, locked eyes with him and he struck me," Woodard said.
The windshield of the car and the passenger side mirror were both broke when Woodard was struck.
Woodard was sent to the hospital. He does not have any broken bones, but he is sore all over. He also has a large bump on the back of the head.
"You don't generally go up against a 3000-pound machine and walk away from it," Woodard said.
The other officer was able to catch and arrest Clasen. During their investigation, police found Clasen had counterfeit money, printers and other counterfeiting equipment.
When Vehlewald was taken into custody, he had seven counterfeit $20 bills on him, police said.
Woodard said multiple businesses in the area were hit by counterfeiters recently and he believes Vehlewald and Clasen are part of the counterfeiting operation that's responsible.