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Two Palm Springs police officers hospitalized after being pinned between vehicles during pursuit

Update 12/22/22

PSPD announced both officers injured have been released from the hospital. 

Original Report 12/20/22

Two Palm Springs police officers were hospitalized after a suspect rammed their vehicle into them during a pursuit, pinning them between two vehicles, Tuesday night.

The incident started shortly before 10:00 p.m. when Palm Springs Police Department Crime Suppression Team officers were patrolling the south end of the city after several reports of burglaries in recent weeks.

According to the PSPD, officers attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Murray Canyon Drive and South Toledo Avenue. The vehicle immediately sped off and a high-speed pursuit ensued.

The vehicle exceeded speeds of 70-80 mph, sometimes going the wrong way. At times, the driver went the wrong way and ran through stop signs. Eventually, the vehicle went into a cul-de-sac on Saint Thomas and stopped in a driveway.

"As officers exited their vehicle, one suspect ran away from the passenger side while the suspect driving the vehicle backed up at a high rate of speed, ramming the officer’s vehicle and pinning two officers between the police vehicle and the suspect vehicle," reads a PSPD news release.

Two officers were injured as the department revealed that both of their heads shattered each of their windows. The interior of the rear passenger door also showed damage from one of the officer’s legs.

David Steel lives in the house with the driveway the suspect drove on to.

"I could hear him in pain. And we just didn't know what was going on," said Steel. "I'm grateful for their service. I don't know if they get enough credit. They should."

While the investigation continues, Palm Springs Police chief Andy Mills has supported the families of the two injured officers.

"This is a dangerous job. It's a violent profession. We know that coming in," said Mills. "That's never an excuse for somebody in the community to try to injure our officers, especially with a vehicle or a firearm. It's unacceptable."

The driver of the suspect vehicle sped away while a second suspect ran on foot.

The pursuit ended when the suspect's vehicle crashed into a rock landscaping on the northeast corner of Farrell Drive and Mesquite.

The driver, later identified as a juvenile, then got out of the car and jumped over the wall of a nearby country club golf course.

Multiple local agencies and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department helicopter 40 King assisted in a search for the suspects. Both were found and detained.

The suspect who ran away just before the collision is identified as a 63-year-old man from Indio. He had a felony warrant and was arrested and booked into the Indio Jail. His bail is set at $210,000.

The driver, identified as a 15-year-old boy, also of Indio was later booked into Juvenile Hall on multiple charges including assault with a deadly weapon.

Neither suspect has been officially charged as of Wednesday.

PSPD confirmed that one officer was transported by ambulance to a local hospital and is in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon. The other officer was treated at the hospital and was released on Wednesday.

"These are dads. And at the end of the day, when you go home, and you look at your family, that's what matters," said Mills.

"PSPD is grateful to report both of our officers involved are feeling better and recovering," reads an update from the department.

PSPD added that officers found four stolen catalytic converters and a Sawzall, inside the suspect vehicle.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.

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Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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