A 29-year-old man who allegedly rammed a stolen vehicle into a patrol car in Dana Point, injuring an officer and prompting an officer-involved shooting, has been charged with aggravated assault and other offenses, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office reported.
The officer-involved shooting occurred about 1:30 a.m. Sunday in the Dana Strand beach parking lot near Pacific Coast Highway, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
A California Highway Patrol officer suffered minor injuries that were not related to the shooting, and the suspect fled the scene, Carrie Braun of the sheriff’s department said.
Deputies located and arrested the suspect, identified as Charles Lawson, about 4 a.m. the same morning at a nearby motel, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors say Lawson was driving a 2014 Ford Flex that was stolen Saturday in San Diego.
Lawson is accused of recklessly driving the stolen vehicle to evade arrest and leading CHP officers on a high-speed chase through Dana Point at speeds in excess of 80 mph, Michelle Van Der Linden of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.
Lawson is also accused of twice ramming the Ford into a patrol car, injuring one CHP officer, then reversing the vehicle and accelerating toward a second officer before fleeing the scene.
“The suspect was taken into custody and had sustained injuries from the officer-involved shooting,” Braun said, adding that the man was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The CHP officer was treated at a hospital and released, Braun said Wednesday.
In addition to being charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, Lawson is also charged with evading while driving recklessly and unlawfully taking a vehicle, according to Van Der Linden.
If convicted as charged Lawson could be sentenced to seven years and eight months in state prison.
Lawson is due to appear on Feb. 8 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach for a pre-trial hearing.
—City News Service
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