Not guilty plea from car thief suspect involved in officer shoot - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Not guilty plea from car thief suspect involved in officer shooting

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A suspected car thief shot by police when he allegedly drove at an officer during a traffic stop pleaded not guilty Monday to five charges, including felony auto theft and misdemeanor hit-and-run and resisting arrest.

Julio Cesar Martinez, 34, was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Rand said officers spotted a reported stolen car and stopped the driver, Martinez, about 1 a.m. Thursday in the 3800 block of Wightman Street in City Heights.

Rand said one San Diego police car pulled in front of Martinez and another behind. She said officers got out of their vehicles with guns drawn.

Martinez initially complied with police commands, but kept dropping his hands and suddenly put the stolen vehicle in gear, making it accelerate toward one of the officers, Rand said.

One officer fired a round that hit the driver's side window of the stolen car, and another officer fired several rounds, grazing Martinez in his left shoulder.

Martinez drove off but was eventually captured after crashing into a street sign, police said.

Judge David Szumowski scheduled a readiness conference for Jan. 10 and a preliminary hearing for Jan. 14.

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