College Park Police said Officer Ivory Morris is in stable condition at Grady hospital in Atlanta after a teenager ran over him with a stolen SUV.
Morris told a WSB-TV reporter he looked directly into the teenagers eyes and chose not to draw his service weapon because he didn't want to kill someone's kid.
Morris said he was moonlighting at a part-time job at 1:30 a.m. Saturday when he received alerts that a stolen vehicle was in his area.
"I said, 'If it comes back to College Park,' I said, 'We on it,'" Morris told WSB.
"I was looking in that kid['s] eyes. I was like, 'I don't want to hurt this kid.' I didn't want to take nobody's kid away from them," Morris said.
He went to the Hilton Garden Inn at Millenium Center and spotted the stolen automobile in the parking lot, WSB-TV reported.
Morris saw a 15-year-old boy standing near the SUV. When the boy spotted Morris, he walked away from the vehicle. The 17-year-old boy behind the wheel sped away in the SUV, as Morris struggled with the 15-year-old.
At some point, the 17-year-old returned, and the 15-year-old jumped on the hood of the SUV -- with Morris still holding him.
"When I was on top of that car, I had my other hand free to reach for the gun. But I said, 'I don't want to. I don't want to pull it,'" Morris told WSB-TV.
The driver jerked the wheel of the SUV, sending both Morris and the boy sprawling on the ground.
Morris said that's when the driver intentionally ran over both of them and sped off.
The officer suffered a fractured leg and other internal injuries. The 15-year-old boy was also injured and hospitalized.
Morris' supervisor said he had every right to use lethal force against the 17-year-old driver who hit him with the SUV, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Morris said he was willing to sacrifice his life so a mother wouldn't mourn her kid.
"I was thinking, 'These are somebody's kids,'" he said.
The 17-year-old driver is still at large.