CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A gang member who tried to run down a Chula Vista police officer during an attempted traffic stop was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in state prison.
Gerardo Rodriguez Meza, 23, pleaded guilty Jan. 10 to felony assault with a deadly weapon.
About 11:30 p.m. last Sept. 5, patrolman Glenn Gossett -- a 14-year veteran of the Chula Vista Police Department -- saw a car being driven erratically near Memorial Park, according to Chula Vista police Capt. Gary Wedge.
The driver -- later identified as Meza -- refused to pull over and instead drove into an access road, where the car crashed into a wall.
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.
Instead of bailing on foot, Meza accelerated in reverse in a sweeping U-turn toward Gossett and struck his patrol car, forcing him to back away. Wedge said Meza then revved the engine and accelerated directly toward Gossett, who fired off several rounds from his service pistol. No one was hurt in the gunfire but several bullets pierced Meza's car.
Following the gunfire, Meza rammed the patrol car one more time before speeding off, according to the captain. Police found the bullet-ridden suspect's car abandoned a block away a short time later.
A 15-year-old boy and two men were detained at separate nearby locations. Meza got away but was arrested a week later at an apartment in San Bernardino County.