Driver allegedly injures officer before the bridge

A man who allegedly injured a police officer as he drove away from a traffic stop early Monday made it across the Bay Bridge to Oakland before police caught up with him after he crashed.

Joe Louis Wright, 42, faces at least seven felony counts, including assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft auto and evading police, for allegedly leading officers on a 16-mile chase in a stolen car.

At about 1 a.m. Monday, a 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Wright was stopped in traffic in the 400 block of Bryant Street. A feature on the car raised a red flag with some nearby police officers, and they called in the license plate to discover the car was stolen, San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Steve Mannina said.

The officers then approached the Monte Carlo as it stood still in a traffic jam due to construction on the Bay Bridge.

“Officers were able to get the door open and attempt to physically extract him from the car. At that point, the traffic freed up and the driver hit the accelerator. The open door of the car struck an officer that was standing by,” Mannina said.

Other officers at the scene followed Wright onto the Bay Bridge, where he led them onto eastbound Interstate Highway 580 to the Edwards Avenue exit in Oakland, where he lost control, skidded and hit a curb, Mannina said.

Wright, who was on parole and armed with a knife, was taken into custody after a short foot chase following the crash, Mannina said.

amartin@examiner.com

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