LAKE ELSINORE – Two officers shot at a man twice, once after he grabbed an officer’s nightstick and another time after he escaped arrest and tried to flee during early Tuesday morning.
A Riverside County deputy was sent to the intersection near Collier Ave. and Central Ave. to check out a suspicious person standing near a vehicle in a parking lot between McDonald’s and Starbucks. Police arrived and confronted the man, who was not identified by police, while he was sitting in his car, according to a department press release. An officer took the man to rear of his patrol car and attempted to load him into the car when the suspect attacked the officer and forced him to the ground.
Police spokesman Albert Martinez said the officer, fearing for his safety, got clear, pulled his gun and shot at the man. The officer was later treated for non-life threatening injuries. “The subject was able to force the officer to the ground and was able to gain control of the officer’s baton. In fear of his safety, the officer withdrew his service pistol and fired at the suspect.”
The suspect then ran away and got into his vehicle and drove away. Another deputy, who had heard the gunshot upon arriving at the scene, saw the suspect driving toward an oncoming police car, opening fire when he thought it was going to ram the other officer.
The suspect sped away, chased by police, and eventually crashed into another car exiting nearby Interstate 15. The suspect kept going, leading police to Highway 74 and Spring St. where he got out and fled on foot. Police captured him after a short pursuit and got him medical attention for undisclosed injuries. It was left unclear in the police report if the suspect had been shot.
Police said the driver of the other car that had collided with the suspect was treated for minor injuries. The two officers involved in the shooting, whose names were not released, were placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation.
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