Officer felt threatened when he fired at suspect’s vehicle

A cop opened fire on a fleeing car in the Bayview late last month because he was about to be run over, police said.

The officer’s bullet struck the car, but not the driver, in the area of La Salle Avenue and Third Street around 8:40 p.m. Sept. 30, police said.

The driver was a “mid-level dope dealer” who fled after being pulled over for going 55 mph through a residential neighborhood, police said.

The driver tried to jet off after the cop who approached his car spotted drugs, police said. Another officer who was in the fleeing car’s path fired off a round, hoping the driver would stop or veer out of the way.

“Seeing the vehicle lurch toward him and having nowhere to retreat, [the officer] reacted out of fear for his life,” police said.

The cop fell back to the curb, “narrowly escaping the vehicle as it screeched past him,” police said. He was injured, but is “doing well and should be back to work within another week or so,” police said last week.

Soon after, cops were able to pull over the suspect again and arrest him.

The driver was speeding in an area that had been flooded with cops. Police had been responding to a tip that gang members had planned to retaliate for a shooting a few weeks earlier.

After cops tried to pull the driver over, he slowed down but refused to stop for several blocks and ignored traffic signals, police said.

The officers suspected he was trying to stash drugs or weapons.

After finally pulling him over, cops saw a “plastic bag full of marijuana poking out of the suspect’s shirt pocket,” police said. They asked him to get out of the car, but he refused and instead reached for the drugs, police said.

An officer who thought the suspect might be trying to destroy evidence reached in to stop him, and a fight ensued, police said.

“The suspect was able to free one hand and used it to put the car into gear,” police said.

The driver drove straight at the officer, who had been crossing the front of the car in order to assist his fellow officer in the struggle, police said.

The cop whipped out his gun and let off one round, police said.

Despite the gunfire, the driver fled, with cops “hot on his trail,” police said. The driver dumped a “large inventory of powder and rock cocaine” out his window while fleeing, police said. All the evidence was recovered from the roadway, cops said.

The suspect was eventually stopped. He was also found in possession of tar heroin. He was booked on numerous charges, police said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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