03/12/2001

3 officers wounded while wrestling gunman

By Elizabeth Fitzsimons
The San Diego Union-Tribune

OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Three police officers suffered minor injuries when they wrestled with a man who pointed a loaded gun at them Wednesday night.Police were called to Ditmar Street and Pier View Way about 9:50 p.m. to investigate reports of shots being fired. When officers tried to search some people they thought might be responsible, one ran away, said Oceanside police spokeswoman Karen McDonough.

Officers tackled the man and he pulled out a handgun, pointing it at them, and a struggle ensued, McDonough said. Police tried to subdue the man with pepper spray, but he gave up only after an officer hit him with a baton, McDonough said.

Officers found a box of ammunition in one of the man's pockets, police said.

Louis Varela, 23, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, resisting officers with violence, brandishing a firearm at police and carrying a concealed firearm.

Copyright 2001 The San Diego Union-Tribune

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