Deputy Hospitalized After Being Hit by SUV; Suspect in Custody

deputy hurt

PARAMOUNT (CNS) - A 25-year-old sheriff's deputy remained hospitalized in critical condition today with injuries suffered when she was struck by an SUV driven by an alleged drunken motorist as she chased an assault suspect on foot in Paramount.

Supervisor Janice Hahn offered prayers for the deputy and her family at the start of this morning's meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

“She's fighting for her life,” Hahn said.

The Lakewood Station deputy, identified by Sheriff Alex Villanueva as Dakota Palanca, had responded to a call of a person acting erratically about 5:30 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of a strip mall near Downey Avenue and Alondra Boulevard.

At a news conference on Monday night, Villanueva described what happened to the deputy.

“Prior to even exiting her vehicle, she was immediately assaulted by the suspect, who began punching her through the window of her radio car,” Villanueva said.

The suspect ran off and the deputy chased him through the parking lot and moments later was struck by a Chevrolet Suburban not related to the original call. The driver left the scene but was apprehended a short distance away near Indiana Avenue and Jackson Street.

“The individual driving the Chevy Suburban was determined to be driving under the influence and arrested for felony DUI,” Villanueva said.

The suspect from the original call was taken into custody after a brief struggle and arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, Villanueva said.

“It's tough to see one of our own in the ICU,” the sheriff said in a Twitter post this afternoon. “My wife and I said a prayer for our deputy, ... please keep her in your prayers.”

Photo: LACoSheriff

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