By Laura Haefeli

OAKDALE (CBS13) – Authorities have arrested the driver who sped away after hitting an Oakdale police officer Friday afternoon.

At around 12:30 p.m., a call was received regarding a person who appeared to be asleep behind the wheel while parked in front of the Save Mart on East F Street, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies arrived and attempted to contact the driver through the driver’s side door, which was open.

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Christopher Milchen, 36 (credit: Oakdale Police Department)

The driver—who was identified by police as 36-year-old Christopher Milchen—reportedly woke up and immediately put the car in reverse.

According to the sheriff’s office, the officer was pinned against the open driver’s side door and then dragged about 30 feet.

“That’s the most violent thing that’s happened here in a long time,” said Kendal Houck, who lives in Oakdale.

Milchen reportedly then took off toward the area of East Sierra Avenue and South Magg Avenue, where he got out and decided to take off on foot.

He was arrested hours later and faces numerous charges including attempted murder.

In an exclusive video obtained by CBS13, Milchen can be seen in handcuffs being escorted into the Oakdale police department.

“He’s obviously a danger to the public,” said Acting Oakdale Police Chief Jerry Ramar.

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The officer’s injuries were described as non-life-threatening. He has since been released from the hospital.

“The officer could have lost his life,” Ramar said.

He explained that the officer was trying to help the suspect after finding him slumped over his steering wheel.

“We weren’t sure if he was having an opioid overdose, we weren’t sure if we would have to perform live savings measures. It escalated quickly,” he said.

Houck watched as officers responded to the Oakdale parking lot.

“Oakdale is a very tight-knit community,” Houck said. “Everyone is going to be in on helping out and trying to find that person.”

Ramar says that’s exactly what happened

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“Citizens in the area pointed to our officers that were responding, the direction the suspect fled,” he said.