Police officer suffers heart attack following suspect chase

Posted: Sunday, June 09, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A 55-year-old Anchorage police officer is recuperating in an Anchorage hospital following a heart attack he suffered shortly after chasing a suspect.

Officer Burt Pendergrass and a state trooper apprehended Richard Rollins, 21, Monday morning. According to police spokeswoman Anita Shell, Rollins had been wanted for escaping from jail.

Rollins managed to get away after he was detained, but the officers ran after him and caught him again. Pendergrass began experiencing chest pains about an hour later.

He is recuperating at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage and is on medical leave.

Pendergrass has worked 16 years for the Police Department and is currently assigned to the Alaska Fugitive Task Force, a multiagency effort to track down criminals with arrest warrants in Alaska.

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