Injured Buffalo police chief testifies in Logan Shoemaker trial

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Into the second day of the Logan Shoemaker trial, jurors heard from T.J. Behning himself, the chief who was severely injured when a garbage truck rammed into his squad vehicle.

Shoemaker was being tried on multiple charges including attempted murder and willful injury.

The charges stem from an incident in September of 2017, where police said Shoemaker entered into a high-speed chase with officers, crossing from Davenport into Buffalo, Iowa.

That's where Buffalo Police Chief T.J. Behning came in.  He told the court Wednesday, June 27th that he was at the police station that day when he heard the pursuit on the radio.

"I started listening and realized it was a pursuit westbound," Behning said.  "I left the station and went to the city limits of Davenport on Highway 22 just to see if they'd come that direction."

Behning said he positioned himself on Highway 22, ready with stop sticks.

"As soon as I heard the sirens, I looked up and saw the garbage truck coming around the corner," he said. "As soon as it came around it immediately got into my lane, headed right for me... I was hoping he was just playing chicken going to get back in his lane."

But he said the garbage truck kept coming.

"As soon as it got close, I threw the sticks, I saw them hit exactly where I wanted them to, looked up and my Tahoe basically exploded."

Behning suffered a multitude of injuries and was taken to Iowa City where he underwent treatment for roughly a month and a half. Fifteen surgeries and nine months later, Behning said he still has major medical problems.

"The main injury I’m dealing with now is a nerve injury," Behning said.  He explained that is in "extreme pain" when he gets up in the morning.  "I have a peroneal nerve that’s not coming back, so I wear a brace for the time being."

When the defendant took the stand he told the court that the crash was unintentional.

"I was trying to get away and hitting the squad car would have disabled my truck that I was in," Shoemaker said.

He said he was addicted to meth and figured he had warrants out for his arrest.

"I was trying not to get caught," Shoemaker said, "I wasn`t ready to give up my addiction."

In the end, Shoemaker said he was thankful that the chase had ended.

Chief Behning continues to recover, but told the court that his injuries hold repercussions that could last a lifetime.

At the end of the day Wednesday, the jury listened to closing statements and was sent home for the evening.  Deliberations were set to begin Thursday morning, June 28th.