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Tries to take officer’s gun after 99 crash in Ripon
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A motorist suspected to be on drugs lies on a gurney inside an AMR ambulance before being taken to San Joaquin General Hospital accompanied by Ripon Police officers. The netting is on the man’s head to prevent him from sitting at officers. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A wild-eyed motorist believed to be on drugs fought with two Ripon Police officers on Jack Tone Road Monday night and attempted to take a sergeant’s Taser away from him and another officer’s gun from its holster before he was subdued.

Being hit with a police baton a dozen times didn’t faze the driver who went berserk after being involved in a two-car accident on the freeway at 9:30 p.m. that caused more crashes as he spun his car around going the wrong way on northbound Highway 99 south of the Jack Tone Road off ramp. He jumped out his car window yelling profanities at those around him, witnesses said.

The man in his late 20’s with his tirade brought a half dozen 911 calls into the Ripon Police Department dispatch  as he ran onto Colony Road near a shopping center going back and forth on the roadway, according to Sgt. Don Luthey.

Luthey and his back up officer Justin Quaille fought with the man near the Highway 99 northbound on ramp from southbound Jack Tone Road just south of the Denney’s Restaurant and the Love’s Truck Stop.  Luthey said he shot the man with his taser three times with no result as the suspect tried to grab his taser before reaching for Quaille’s gun attempting to take it out of his holster.  As he did Luthey said he struck him on the top of his forearms with his baton but that did not faze the suspect. 

A 41-year-old Lodi man came on the scene and asked if he could be of help.  Both officers said later that they couldn’t have controlled the man without his help because of his unexplainable strength.   

Police and firefighters hogtied the suspect into a restraint and placed a netted bag over his head to prevent him from spitting at them.  He was lifted onto a gurney from an AMR Ambulance that responded in lieu of Ripon Ambulance that was unavailable. 

A CHP officer brought three of the accident victims to the rear of the ambulance.  The netting was removed from the suspect’s head for just a matter of seconds so they could positively identify the man.  He was taken to San Joaquin County Hospital for treatment with two Ripon officers going with him in the ambulance.

There were five Ripon Police units and one from Escalon on the scene along with two California Highway Patrol officers as well with one on a motorcycle.

Both Ripon officers received minor injuries – Luthey to a finger and Quaille to his side and elbow. There were two reported injuries to motorists in the other cars on the freeway. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email