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California Briefing / West Hollywood

Man arrested in deputy's assault

March 21, 2009|Ruben Vives

A motorist who was shot at by a sheriff's deputy after allegedly dragging another deputy as the driver fled a traffic stop has been arrested, authorities said.

Stuart Bird, 54, was taken into custody Thursday night on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Bird owns an art gallery in West Hollywood.

Bird was arrested hours after investigators discovered his abandoned green Mercedes-Benz not far from Santa Monica Boulevard at North Madison Avenue, where deputies had pulled him over about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, deputies said.

Investigators said a deputy reached into Bird's car to grab his keys and Bird hit the gas, dragging the deputy about 30 feet. Fearing for his partner's life, another deputy fired four shots at the vehicle, authorities said. No one was hit by the gunshots, but the injured deputy had scrapes on his head and one arm.

-- Ruben Vives

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