Man arrested after attempting to strike Porterville officer with vehicle, leading police on pursuit


(Getty Images)

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A man was arrested after leading police on a pursuit and attempting to strike an officer with a vehicle in Porterville on Thursday.

Porterville Police Department says they received a call regarding a home burglary in the 700 block of East Cleveland Avenue at around 9:30 a.m.

When officers arrived they say a suspect started to run away from the home.

During the same time, a car that was parked in front of the home started to drive away at a high rate of speed, leading officers on a pursuit, according to authorities.

The driver was identified as 33-year-old, Jose Lemus of Lindsay.

Police say the driver led officers on a pursuit through several streets on the east side of Porterville, until Lemus drove into the cul de sac of the 500 block of Crestview Circle. As Lemus turned around in the cul-de sac, officers got out of their vehicles ordering Lemus to stop.

Officers say Lemus intentionally accelerated directly at an officer who was getting out of his vehicle.

The officer fired two shots at Lemus just before the suspect vehicle hit the police car driver’s door, knocking the officer back into his patrol car by the impact.

The officer was treated at the scene by ambulance personnel for minor injuries.

Lemus continued the pursuit onto Main Street from Reid Avenue. Officers say they attempted to deploy spikes to disable the suspect vehicle but Lemus drove around the spikes nearly hitting another officer.

Officer say Lemus drove the vehicle into an orange grove and it became disabled. Lemus fled on foot into the orange grove and a perimeter was set up.

During the search of the grove, Lemus was eventually located and arrested by a Tulare County Sheriff’s K-9.

Lemus was transported to Sierra View District Medical Center for treatment of injuries resulting from the K-9 grasp.

Police say the vehicle Lemus was driving was a stolen vehicle from Lindsay.

Lemus was booked into the Tulare County Sheriff’s South County Detention Facility on charges of burglary, looting during state of emergency, evading, assault with deadly weapon, and possession of stolen vehicle.

The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

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