A 25-year-old deputy critically injured when she was struck by an SUV driven by an alleged drunken motorist was responding to treatment but faces “a long road to recovery,” the sheriff’s department reported Tuesday.
Supervisor Janice Hahn offered prayers at the start of Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for the deputy, identified by Sheriff Alex Villanueva as Dakota Palanca.
“She’s fighting for her life,” Hahn said.
Villanueva tweeted that he and his wife “said a prayer for our deputy, … please keep her in your prayers.”
“It’s tough to see one of our own in the ICU,” Villanueva tweeted.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore tweeted “The entirety of the LAPD stands behind” Palanca.
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 Palanca.
“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 Palanca 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.