Darrell R. Santschi, Press Enterprise
A San Bernardino policeman was justified in shooting and wounding a drug sales suspect who appeared to be trying to grab the officer’s gun May 1, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office has determined.
Officer Jose Vasquez shot 41-year-old Jeffrey Hernandez once in the lower back during a struggle at the intersection of California and Mesa streets in the unincorporated community of Muscoy outside the city of San Bernardino. The bullet struck Hernandez’s small intestine and colon. He underwent surgery, but survived.
Hernandez was the subject of a police narcotics surveillance at a Porter Street address in the Muscoy area, where two officers reported seeing someone matching Hernandez’s description driving away in a gold Honda Accord.
Vasquez and Officer Erik Campos attempted a traffic stop of the Accord, at which point the driver fled at speeds of up to 70 mph, according to the DA’s report. As they pursued the car, officers said they saw the driver throwing items out of the car they thought were firearms.
Hernandez lost control of his car as he attempted to turn onto Mesa Street. The vehicle went over a cdurb and hit a chain link fence in front of a residence. Vasquez positioned the police car against the rear bumper of the car to keep it from backing up.
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