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Gang member pleads guilty to trying to run down police officer in Chula Vista

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CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A gang member who tried to run down a Chula Vista police officer during an attempted traffic stop pleaded guilty Thursday to assault with a deadly weapon.

Gerardo Rodriguez Meza, 22, will be sentenced to eight years in prison at an April 2 hearing.

About 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 5, patrolman Glenn Gossett saw a car containing at least three people being driven erratically near Memorial Park in Chula Vista, according to Chula Vista police Capt. Gary Wedge.

The driver refused to pull over and instead drove into an access road, where the car crashed into a wall, Wedge said.

Believing the driver and passengers were going to abandon the vehicle and flee, Gossett got out of his patrol car in anticipation of a foot pursuit, Wedge said. He said the driver accelerated in reverse in a sweeping U-turn toward the officer and struck his patrol car, forcing Gossett to back away.

The driver then revved the engine and accelerated directly toward Gossett, who responded by firing several shots from his service pistol, Wedge said. The suspect's vehicle slammed into the patrol car again, after which the driver sped off, he said.

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.

Police detained a 15-year-old boy and two men at 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 arrested on suspicion of assault on a peace officer. The other two detainees were questioned and released.

The defendant was arrested a week after the incident at an apartment in San Bernardino County.

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