A 23-year-old East Palo Alto man faces an assault-with-a-deadly-weapon charge after allegedly ramming a Palo Alto police cruiser Sunday, Jan. 15.
The incident began at 1:36 a.m. after a Palo Alto officer on patrol saw Enriquez suspiciously cruising around the area of Newell Road and Edgewood Drive in Palo Alto. The residential neighborhood has been plagued by burglaries, Bullerjahn said.
The officer ran the vehicle's license plate and discovered the car had been stolen from Hayward on Jan. 14. Following the vehicle, which entered southbound Highway 101 between San Antonio Road and Shoreline Boulevard, the officer turned on his rack lights and called for backup from Palo Alto and Mountain View officers.
Enriquez quickly exited at Shoreline. Palo Alto police policy prohibits pursuit of a stolen vehicle, so the officer turned off his lights and continued following Enriquez, Bullerjahn said.
The vehicle crashed into a sign and pole and the officer pulled up behind it. A backup officer from Palo Alto and one from Mountain View quickly surrounded the vehicle.
Enriquez allegedly threw the car into reverse and backed into the officer's cruiser. He then drove forward and past the patrol car in front of him and drove off into Mountain View, Bullerjahn said.
Enriquez, who had lost the vehicle's left front wheel as a result of the crash, continued driving on Shoreline for a half mile. Since he had now allegedly assaulted a police officer with the vehicle, police entered into a pursuit, Bullerjahn said.
While attempting to turn into a private parking lot, Enriquez crashed the vehicle into a second pole.
At Linda Vista Avenue and Middlefield Road, he jumped out of the vehicle and hopped a wooden fence. Police set up a perimeter and found him hiding in the bushes. He was taken into custody without incident. No one was injured in the incident, Bullerjahn said.
Enriquez was booked into the Main Jail in San Jose on three felonies: possession of a stolen vehicle with a prior conviction, felony evading police, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer; and possession of burglary tools, a misdemeanor.
He also had two active warrants, for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and a probation violation, at the time of arrest, Bullerjahn said.
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