May 6, 2021 18:46

Armed man crashes into police SUV before taking officer’s vehicle from side of freeway

CORONA, Calif. — A crash involving a Corona police officer on Saturday afternoon led to the arrest of the other driver who took the officer’s patrol unit while holding a gun — an incident that was captured on cellphone video by a passerby.

The crime occurred around 2 p.m. on the 91 Freeway in Riverside, according to the Corona Police Department.

The officer was traveling west in a “plain wrap” (no police markings but equipped with emergency lights and siren) Ford Explorer police unit when another driver rear-ended him, according to authorities.

After being struck from behind, the officer lost control and went into a spin, Corona Police Department said, KTLA reported.

When the officer  pulled over to the side of the road, the other driver ran towards the officer while holding a gun, authorities said. That’s when the officer opened fire, according to police.

A person inside a passing vehicle managed to record part of the encounter. The video shows the suspect on the driver’s side of the SUV as the officer took cover on the passenger side. The suspect appeared to be holding a firearm and possibly firing at the crouched officer as he gets into the driver seat.

A passing driver stops next to the patrol unit, which had flashing lights from the dashboard, but soon leaves. The officer is seen putting distance between himself and the threats while holding his firearm, footage shows.

According to the Corona Police Department, the officer fired at the suspect before he got inside the SUV. Neither man was hit by gunfire, authorities said. (The report did not confirm whether the suspect actually fired at the officer.)

Traffic was heavy on the 91 Freeway as other officers responded to the scene.

A “short time” after the incident, officials found the suspected driver and the SUV in the area of La Sierra and Minnier avenues in Riverside, according to the Corona Police Department. He hid in an apartment but soon surrendered, the agency said.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office will lead the investigation into the incident, according to KTLA.

Police did not release the suspect’s name and provided no further information about the case.

 

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