A man is being accused of attempted murder after allegedly ramming a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle twice while it was being driven by a sergeant in Saticoy early Tuesday, authorities said.
The incident occurred about 2:15 a.m., while the sergeant was driving along the Santa Clara River Bridge, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.
The suspect, identified as Frankie Avalos, 28, allegedly sped up from behind the sergeant and rammed into the back of the marked patrol vehicle.
The sergeant sped up and changed lanes, “thinking the driver of the white sport utility vehicle had fallen asleep at the wheel or was driving under the influence,” officials said.
But Avalos sped up again and allegedly “rammed the patrol vehicle a second time, causing it to spin out of control and flip onto its side.”
The suspect then continued driving across the bridge, leaving the victim pinned in his vehicle.
In a tweet showing photos of the badly damaged patrol vehicle on its side, officials called the incident an “unprovoked attack.”
The sergeant, who was described as a 37-year veteran of the department, broadcasted his location and gave a detailed description of the suspect.
A rescue crew pulled the sergeant from the wreckage and he was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, officials said.
Deputies later spotted Avalos’ vehicle in Santa Paula and tried to stop him, but a high-speed pursuit ensued when he refused to yield.
Avalos eventually stopped his vehicle and ran away, but was tackled by deputies and arrested.
He was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, evading, hit-and-run, driving under the influence of drugs and assault with a deadly weapon, officials said.
His bail was automatically doubled to more than $1 million because of other cases he had pending before the court, officials said.