DINUBA – An early morning high-speed chase through two counties resulted in an officer-involved shooting and ended with the arrest of Ronald Allen Patala, 24, of Dinuba.
Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, a sergeant with the Dinuba Police Department checked out a suspected stolen vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex located in the 1100 block of Villa Avenue in Dinuba.
The sergeant approached the vehicle on foot, believing it to be unoccupied, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. Patala was in the stolen car and put it in reverse, attempting to strike the officer. Patala hit the officer’s marked patrol car two times, according to a police report. In response, the officer fired one round, striking the suspect’s car.
Patala then fled the area, instigating a high-speed chase that ensued into Fresno County. The suspect eluded Dinuba police officers north of Reedley.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department later observed the vehicle in the rear section of a mobile home park located in the 17000 block of E. Kings Canyon and a search of the area was conducted with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol and air support. A search of the wilderness area where the vehicle was located was conducted and the suspect was observed crouching near a tree next to the Kings River, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.
The suspect was apprehended with assistance from a Kingsburg officer and his K-9, and later booked into the Tulare County Jail. He is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon, motor vehicle theft, possession of stolen property and felony evading.
The officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave and the investigation is being conducted by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.