In an attempt to escape arrest, a suspected drug dealer ran over and seriously injured an undercover LAPD officer earlier this week.
The officer suffered two broken legs, facial injuries, and head trauma when he was struck by the suspect's car. At presstime, he was in serious condition at a local hospital.
The suspect, Gubiensio Ortiz Jr., 23, turned himself in to the nearby Whittier Police Department, ending an intense manhunt. Police say that Ortiz tried to intentionally run over the officer, and they plan to book him on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer.
Three officers were involved in the incident in the city's Boyle Heights neighborhood. The officers had been watching Ortiz when they saw him make an alleged drug sale and then pull his car into a driveway.
As officers closed in and identified themselves as LAPD, Ortiz reportedly backed out of the driveway, narrowly missing one of the officers.
The officers radioed the injured officer who was stationed down the street and told him that the suspect was fleeing in his direction.
The injured officer reportedly identified himself as LAPD and ordered the suspect to stop. Authorities say that Ortiz ignored the order and struck the officer with the car.
The officer fired on the car, but it is not clear if he fired before or after he was hit.
Tim Sands, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, told the Los Angeles Times that the incident was only the latest example of a suspect using a vehicle as a weapon against LAPD officers.
"The attempted murder today of an LAPD officer…is a sad example of the dangers officers face every day," he said. "Attempting to stop a suspect in a motor vehicle constitutes one of the least predictable and, hence, most potentially dangerous of a police officer's routine duties."
At least 25 officers nationwide have been killed during the last four years by cars driven by crime suspects.
In 2005, the Los Angeles Police Commission established a policy that prohibits officers from shooting at moving vehicles unless another deadly threat exists such as a suspect shooting from the car or they cannot dodge the oncoming vehicle.