A suspected car thief from Vallejo led police on a multi-county vehicle pursuit Thursday that ended with a crash at the Interstate 80/780 interchange.
The suspect, 32-year-old Timothy Morales, was taken to an area hospital for treatment of a reportedly minor injury. A piece of shrapnel apparently injured Morales' shoulder during his arrest, Vallejo police Sgt. Jeff Bassett said.
Bassett said that when the man began to drive toward them after being forced off the road, officers fired at him. He was wounded not by gunfire, but by a piece of flying debris, Bassett said.
The pursuit began about 35 miles away in Oakley, when Morales initially refused to yield to a K-9 police officer who noticed the 1995 Acura, reported stolen out of Vallejo last month, Bassett said. He then led the Oakley police officer to I-780 and Vallejo. Dozens of California Highway Patrol and Vallejo police officers joined the pursuit.
After briefly circling around Vallejo, police performed a vehicle maneuver at 11:47 a.m. near Sonoma Boulevard and Curtola Parkway and forced Morales up an embankment at the eastbound connector ramp between the two highways.
As police officers exited their cars in an attempt to arrest Morales, he first allegedly backed into a police car, then drove straight at officers, Bassett said.
Both Vallejo and Oakley police officers fired "multiple" shots at Morales in self defense, but none hit their mark, Bassett said. There were no
Morales' age was initially reported incorrectly, due to fake identification he was carrying, Bassett said.
Morales, who has received multiple felony convictions for theft, drug and weapons-related offenses, has served five prison sentences and was wanted on a probation violation warrant at the time of his arrest, police said.
Thursday's incident was the fourth officer involved shooting in recent weeks in Vallejo. In two of those incidents, suspects were shot to death. One was armed with a replica pellet gun, and the other had pulled out a metallic wallet that an officer said appeared to be a weapon. In the third incident, an officer shot a dog at the home of a resident who had asked police to come investigate a crime.