Breaking News Blog

Thursday, Jul 04 2013 02:44 PM

Motorist arrested after rear-ending Bakersfield police car

By The Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield police arrested a motorist early Thursday after the car he was driving struck a police car in northeast Bakersfield.

Bakersfield police Officer Timothy Berchtold was driving west on University Avenue when he stopped at the stop sign at Wenatchee Avenue. Berchtold's police car was rear-ended at 7:07 a.m. by a 2013 Nissan Maxima allegedly driven by 31-year-old Joseph Anthony Estrada Espinoza.

Espinoza allegedly ran away from the accident scene and was taken into custody several blocks away, according to Bakersfield police Lt. Jeremy Grimes.

"They're guarding him at the hospital prior to him being booked," Grimes said, describing Espinoza's injuries as "not serious."

Police arrested Espinoza on suspicion of driving under the influence, hit and run, resisting arrest, resisting arrest with violence, and not having proof of insurance.

Grimes said Espinoza will not be booked on these charges until he is released from Kern Medical Center.

Berchtold was treated at a doctor's office for "complaint of pain," according to a Bakersfield Police Department press release. No further information on his condition was released. No estimate was available on the amount of damage to Berchtold's police car.

Two of three passengers in the car with Espinoza also were taken to the hospital.

Stephanie Blacarte, 30, and Angel Hernandez, 27, were treated for complaints of pain at Kern Medical Center.

A third passenger in the car, Harry Gamotan, 22, refused medical aid.

None of the three passengers are expected to face charges, Grimes said.

No further information was available as to what cities Espinoza and his passengers are from, Grimes said.

-- The Californian

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