By Vickie Vértiz
On November 7, a San Bernardino police officer was hospitalized after he was injured and knocked unconscious because an unmanned car crashed into his squad car. The officer crossed Waterman Avenue and noticed a white Accord moving oddly, perhaps with a drunk driver inside, reported the San Bernardino County Sun.
A gang sweep earlier that night scared off the driver of the Honda Accord, leaving the car to barrel down Base Line Road without a driver. The central station of the sheriff had already had a busy day.
An officer who was involved in the gang sweep that night had tried to pull over an older-model, white Honda Accord that had been reported stolen that same night, before 9 p.m. Friday night, said the Sun. The driver of the Accord jumped out of his car, giving chase to officers as the auto rolled down the four-lane Base Line Road. The car dangerously crossed into oncoming lanes.
Once the officer in question noticed the vehicle careening through the street, he drove his squad car near the curb to block the Accord from crashing into a fence or other cars, according to San Bernardino police Lieutenant Travis Walker, as quoted in the Sun.
The injured officer was not aware a gang sweep was in process because those officers operate on a different radio frequency than local police, said the paper.
The impact of the Accord was such that the grill guard on the squad car lifted the hood. After the incident, according to the Sun, more police, some from San Bernardino and others involved who were working the sweep, came on the scene. Local police called off the search for the driver of the stolen car, who was not found at the time.
The paper reported that gang sweeps happen approximately once a month and are rotated within the county to various cities. Officers are sent from each police department, bringing about 100 officers on the streets of the city or region for that month, said the Sun. In the last month alone, 120 arrests were made during another sweep out lead by the San Bernardino police station, according to the paper.
The injured officer was not identified and the person who left the car in motion was not found.
That same night, another San Bernardino officer went to the hospital. In that case, the officer was also knocked unconscious, but this time it happened during a domestic violence arrest where the officer was pushed to the ground and landed on his face, according to Walker in his conversation with to the Sun.
In another part of the gang sweep region in question, another two people had gotten into a dispute and were also injured.
The man who authorities believe injured the second officer was arrested a few blocks away after police secured a perimeter around the neighborhood.
San Bernardino police officer hospitalized after gang sweep
By Vickie Vértiz
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