Riverside Police Department Press Release

For Immediate Release

Date Thursday, March 1, 2007
Contact Steven Frasher, Press Information Officer
Phone (951) 826-5147

Fleeing suspect tries to run down officer

Riverside, Ca- A Riverside Police motorcycle officer escaped being struck by a fleeing vehicle Thursday morning.

At 10:05 a.m., the traffic officer attempted to stop a green Dodge Neon for a speeding violation in the 3400-block of Spruce Street, just east of Orange Street. The driver sped north away from the scene, at speeds of up to 47 miles per hour on a residential street with a 25 mph limit. The driver performed an illegal U-turn at the intersection of Orange and Russell in an attempt to evade the officer, and turned south on Orange. In the 2800-block Orange St., the driver again attempted a U-turn but stalled his vehicle. The officer got off the motorcycle and approached the suspect, giving instructions at gunpoint. The suspect restarted his vehicle and attempted to run the officer over.

The officer, who took shelter behind a utility pole, was not struck or injured. He resumed the pursuit of the fleeing suspect, who drove at speeds of 60-70 mph. The crew of Air-1, the police helicopter, spotted the suspect abandoning his vehicle and running into the garage of a residence in the 3500-block Hiawatha Place. Additional officers arrived, searched the home, and located the suspect, who was arrested without further incident.

Ramiro GARZA, 25, of Riverside, is charged with evading a police officer, assault with a deadly weapon and driving with a suspended license.