A CHP officer was seriously injured early Sunday after a motorcyclist allegedly attacked him during a routine traffic stop on Ortega Highway, police said.
The officer, whom police declined to identify, stopped two men on sports motorcycles about 7 a.m. eastbound on the winding highway, 1 1/2 miles east of Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park outside San Juan Capistrano, Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Colin Murphy said.
"During the stop, the officer was checking out the motorcycles because they had no license plates," Murphy said. "One of the suspects approached the officer and struck him over the head with a blunt object."
The alleged attacker was clad in black leathers, and he and his companion fled toward Riverside County, Murphy said.
The officer suffered moderate trauma to the head and was taken to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo. He was listed in stable condition and was being kept overnight for observation.
Officials closed both directions of the entire highway, which runs through the Cleveland National Forest between southern Orange County and Riverside County, for about eight hours while investigators from the California Highway Patrol and the Sheriff's Department questioned witnesses and searched nearby parks.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (949) 770-6011.