Calif. officer kills man who used officer's own baton to beat him

Tim Bragg
The Fresno Bee
Copyright 2006 McClatchy Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
VISALIA- A man was shot and killed by a California Highway Patrol officer Saturday after a high-speed chase and then a fight in which the suspect struck the officer several times with his own police baton.

The man, whose identity was not yet available Monday afternoon, began a high-speed chase at 8:53 p.m. Saturday in Earlimart, said CHP officer Scott Harris. The car had been stolen in Porterville.

The officer, whose name was not made public Monday, tried to pull over the man for speeding, but he failed to stop and headed south on Highway 99, Harris said.

At one point, the man began heading north in the southbound lanes of Highway 99 with his headlights off, Harris said. Speeds reached 100 mph.

Eventually, the man turned around and headed south again just before he lost control of the sedan and crashed into the center divider.

The man and officer both got out of their vehicles, and a struggle ensued, Harris said.

During the fight, the man got the officer's baton from a hook on his belt, Harris said. The man then hit the officer in the head several times.

Harris said the CHP officer was able to step away from the man, pull his gun and fire four shots. Harris said he didn't know how many struck the driver.

The man was taken to Delano Regional Medical Center, where he died.

The CHP officer was taken to the hospital to treat cuts and wounds to his head. The officer was later released. He remains on leave because of his injuries and the shooting investigation, Harris said.

The reporter can be reached at tbragg@fresnobee.com or (559) 622-2417. 
June 27, 2006

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