Authorities have arrested a former Air Force staff sergeant, accusing him of intentionally hitting the back of a Los Angeles police officer’s motorcycle and pushing the moving officer down the 5 Freeway in Castaic for about a half-mile during Wednesday morning’s commute.
Philip Newlyn, a 28-year-old Elk Grove resident who was awarded a Purple Heart for his actions in Iraq, was taken into custody early Wednesday evening in the San Diego area, authorities said. California Highway Patrol records indicated he was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Authorities said the incident unfolded at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, when the uniformed LAPD officer was riding his marked police motorcycle on his way to work. As the officer rode south on the freeway, a white pickup truck hit the back of the motorcycle, CHP officials said.
Based on witness accounts, the officer’s statement and other preliminary evidence, investigators believe the truck shoved the motorcycle for a significant stretch at “freeway speeds,” said CHP Officer Josh Greengard.
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