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The Region

Man Shot After Ramming Car at Roadblock

January 19, 2002|KENNETH REICH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A police chase involving a man who allegedly stole a car in Fontana ended early Friday at a California Highway Patrol roadblock on the Riverside Freeway when Riverside police shot the driver after he smashed his vehicle into a CHP car.

The westbound lanes of the freeway were closed for eight hours at the Adams Street exit, causing severe traffic congestion on some Riverside surface streets until noon.

The man was not immediately identified. His wounds were not life-threatening, said Riverside Police Lt. John Wallace.

He was taken to a hospital for treatment and could be charged with felony evading of pursuing officers, grand theft auto and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, Wallace said.

The chase began shortly before 3 a.m. when police tried to stop the man on surface streets in Fontana and continued for 45 minutes, part of the time as he drove the wrong way on the freeway.

Wallace said that at one point the man got off the freeway on McKinley Street, then veered back onto the freeway and drove east in the westbound lanes, finally striking the CHP car. The shooting is under investigation.

During the chase the man was also involved in a minor collision with another motorist.

Wallace said Riverside police were assisted by the CHP, which set up the roadblock.

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