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Police Assaults Orange County

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2000 | JACK LEONARD
A suspected drunk driver who rammed a Costa Mesa motorcycle officer while trying to escape a traffic stop was arrested Friday, authorities said. The officer, Robert Coash, suffered a scraped elbow Friday evening as Francisco Javier Gaona tried to flee, said Costa Mesa police Lt. Allen Huggins. Coash stopped Gaona for speeding about 6:30 near the Stater Bros. parking lot on Newport Boulevard, Huggins said.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2000 | LOUISE ROUG, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A wild, two-hour chase through Orange County ended Wednesday morning with the California Highway Patrol arresting a Cypress man who allegedly hit a police dog with a flashlight. Raul Armenta, 43, crashed his white Toyota truck into a guard rail on Interstate 5, said Irvine Police Sgt. Rick Handfield. He then tried to flee officers and a police dog. The officers eventually overpowered him by shooting him with a bean bag gun, Handfield said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 2000 | MEGAN GARVEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Westminster police officer Saturday fired one round at a suspect who allegedly accelerated his car toward the officer. The man was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Neither the suspect, 26-year-old Alejandro Vergara of Lake Forest, nor the officer was injured. The shooting took place at about 2 a.m. Saturday in the 9000 block of Bolsa Avenue in Westminster.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 1999 | JACK LEONARD and LOUISE ROUG, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A veteran CHP officer who said he was shot during a traffic stop last summer concocted the story, sheriff's officials charged Friday, wasting at least $40,000 in public funds spent on the ensuing manhunt and three-month investigation. Sheriff's Department sources said detectives were almost immediately suspicious about the shooting because of two factors: No blood was found at the scene, and the patrolman's wounds resembled those made by the type of handguns issued to CHP officers.
NEWS
November 6, 1999 | JACK LEONARD and LOUISE ROUG, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Sheriff's officials announced Friday that a veteran CHP officer who claimed he was shot during a traffic stop in San Clemente last summer concocted the story, which triggered a massive manhunt for an elusive red truck and snarled traffic for much of the day.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 1999 | JASON KANDEL
A Huntington Beach police officer injured in a shootout Friday at a beauty salon remained in good condition Sunday, police said. Officer Nick Ekovich Jr., 52, was shot in the arm by a would-be robber at the Green Tree Salon after responding to a 911 call. Ekovich, unaware of the holdup inside, interrupted the gunman, triggering a shootout inside the shop that left the gunman dead. Police identified the gunman Sunday as Eric Fredricksen, 34.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 1999 | SCOTT GOLD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
He had been casing the Huntington Beach shopping plaza for a week, shop workers remembered, carrying a duffel bag and pausing ominously at storefronts. When he strolled into the Green Tree Salon on Friday afternoon, "I just knew something wasn't right," said hairdresser Mitzi Douillard. Within 15 minutes, the man would be dead, shot by a police officer in a fierce, close-range gunfight as the lawman responded to Douillard's surreptitious call for help.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 1999 | SCOTT GOLD and RICHARD MAROSI, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Two shootings six days apart, an attack on a Highway Patrol officer on the shoulder of an Orange County freeway and the fatal rampage at a Garden Grove auto parts store, have two common threads: They were alarming episodes of callous violence. And their perpetrators remain at large. How could the shooters--sought by dozens of law enforcement agencies, scores of investigators and hundreds of citizens' tips--stay at large?
NEWS
September 2, 1999 | SCOTT GOLD and RICHARD MAROSI, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Two brazen shootings six days apart, one on the shoulder of a south Orange County freeway and another at an auto accessories store in Garden Grove, have two common threads: They were alarming episodes of callous violence, and their perpetrators remain at large. The shootings beg the question: How could two men, trailed by dozens of law enforcement agencies, scores of investigators and hundreds of citizens' tips, simply disappear?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 1999 | MARIA ELENA FERNANDEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The California Highway Patrol officer who was shot during a traffic stop in San Clemente was released from the hospital Saturday. He is "is in good spirits and resting and recuperating at home," a department spokeswoman said. Investigators continued to search for the driver of a red Toyota Tacoma pickup that patrolman Gary L. Burnett stopped for speeding on Interstate 5. But officials came up with no new leads Saturday, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.
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