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Driver Assaults Deputy in Lawndale, Jumps Out of Moving SUV During Pursuit: LASD

An individual assaulted a deputy in Lawndale on Monday morning and led officers on a pursuit, during which he jumped out of a moving SUV and ran, according to authorities.

A vehicle is seen in Torrance on May 7, 2018 following a pursuit. (Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

A vehicle is seen in Torrance on May 7, 2018 following a pursuit. (Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

The deputy spotted a Kia SUV parked behind a Wienerschnitzel restaurant on Artesia Boulevard at around 5:35 a.m., the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

The deputy approached the vehicle and smelled marijuana when the driver rolled down his window, the agency said.

The officer asked the driver to open his door, and the suspect appeared cooperative until the deputy asked him to remove his seatbelt and get out of the vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The driver then allegedly directed an expletive at the deputy and backed up the SUV, catching the deputy’s gun belt and spinning him sideways.

As the suspect continued to reverse, the SUV’s front bumper hit the officer’s left leg, the agency said. The vehicle’s mirror also struck the deputy’s left side, according to the agency.

The driver exited the parking lot at high speed and headed north on Firmona Avenue,  the Sheriff’s Department said.

The officer started pursuing the driver, who turned east on 172nd Street and jumped out of the SUV as he approached Hawthorne Boulevard, the department said. The suspect allegedly ran toward north of Artesia Boulevard between Firmona and Grevillea avenues.

Still in gear, the vehicle rolled across the center island of Hawthorne Boulevard and onto Redondo Beach Boulevard, according to the agency. It crashed into two unoccupied vehicles parked at the 4200 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard.

Additional officers, along with K-9s and an air unit, responded to the scene and contained the area.

The deputy was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The agency said it cancelled its search for the suspect after a couple of hours. Investigators believe the suspect—whom they said have been identified through vehicle owner information—did not pose an immediate threat to the public. The department did not specify whether or not the suspect has been taken into custody.

Authorities provided no further details.

Anyone with information can call the Sheriff’s Department’s South L.A. station at 323-820-6700. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477), using the mobile app “P3 Tips” or visiting lacrimestoppers.org.