Riverside Police Department
Press Release


For Immediate Release

Date April 20, 2003
Contact Sergeant Steve Johnson
Phone (909) 320-8005
Fax (909) 320-8043


Man Shot by Police After Stealing Police Car

Riverside, Ca-  On April 20, 2003 at approximately 9:31 A.M. a Riverside Police Officer was flagged down by a citizen who reported that a disabled man had just been assaulted on University Avenue near Dwight Street. The officer responded to the location and learned a man in a wheelchair had been robbed. As the officer was obtaining a statement from the victim and a witness, the witness saw the suspect drive by their location. The officer returned to his police car and attempted to catch up to the suspect. The suspect, and lone occupant of the vehicle, did not yield when the officer activated his emergency lights and siren. The officer pursued the suspect through a residential neighborhood. After failing to stop at several stop signs, the suspect parked his car in an apartment complex driveway near Dwight and Linden Streets. The suspect ran from the vehicle on foot.

The officer chased the suspect on foot around the apartment complex while other officers were en route to assist. The suspect entered the officers’ police car and attempted to leave. He refused several commands by the officer to exit the police car. The suspect put the police car in reverse and backed quickly toward the primary officer and a second officer who had arrived at the scene. One officer was struck by the police car as the suspect attempted to flee.

Both officers fired their handguns at the suspect as he drove toward them. The suspect fled the scene in the police car after being struck by gunfire. A few minutes later, the suspect and police car were located at the downtown bus station. The suspect was taken into custody without incident. He sustained more than one gunshot wound to his upper torso. Medical aid was immediately summoned. The suspect was transported to Riverside Community Hospital where he underwent surgery. He was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

The suspect was identified as 25 year-old Ezell Jerome McClendon from Texas. He was booked into the jail ward at the Riverside County Regional Medical Center. Pending charges include Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, Grand Theft Auto, and two counts of Robbery.

The injured officer sustained abrasions and contusions. He was treated at the hospital and released

Anyone with information related to this investigation is urged to contact Detective Medici at 909-320-8049 or Detective Shumway at 909-320-8011.