CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A 22-year-old gang member suspected of repeatedly ramming a vehicle into a Chula Vista patrol car during a violent traffic stop was in custody in San Diego Thursday following his arrest in San Bernardino County, police said.
Gerardo Rodriguez-Meza was arrested at an apartment in the 800 block of East Washington Street in the city of Colton by members of the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force early Wednesday evening, according to Chula Vista police Lt. Lon Turner.
Around 11:30 p.m. Sept. 5, patrolman Glenn Gossett saw a car with three or more people in it being driven erratically near Memorial Park in Chula Vista. Police said the driver refused to pull over and instead drove into an access road off the 400 block of Third Avenue, where the car crashed into a wall.
"Believing the driver and (passengers) were going to abandon their vehicle and flee, Officer Gossett got out of his patrol car in anticipation of a foot pursuit," CVPD Capt. Gary Wedge said earlier this month.
"Instead, the vehicle accelerated in reverse in a sweeping U-turn toward Officer Gossett and struck the patrol car, forcing the officer to back away."
The driver then revved the engine of the car and accelerated directly toward Gossett, who responded by firing several shots from his service pistol.
The suspect's vehicle slammed into the patrol car again, after which the driver sped off.
Gossett, a 14-year veteran of the Chula Vista Police Department, was not hurt.
A short time later, police found the damaged suspect's vehicle about a block away, with several bullet holes in it. The officer's gunfire evidently caused no injuries, Wedge said.
Police also found and detained a 15-year-old boy and two men in three separate locations near the scene of the incident. However, Rodriguez-Meza of Chula Vista, who drove the vehicle, got away, police said.
The boy was interrogated and arrested on suspicion of assault on a peace officer. The other two detainees were questioned and released.
Rodriguez-Meza was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder of a police officer and weapons charges. He could be arraigned at the South Bay Courthouse as early as Friday, according to jail records.