El Centro, California - Last night at 10:11 PM, Officer Daniel Crankshaw from the El Centro Police Department attempted to conduct a stop a Hispanic Male Adult (HMA) on a bicycle in the area of 1000 N. Imperial Avenue. The officer had seen the suspect in the area of Imperial and Villa with two other males on bikes prior to attempting his stop. The officer followed the suspect for a short distance in the area prior to attempting to stop him. When ordered to stop by the officer, the suspect refused, and the officer pursued him and was able to catch up to him in the area of #2 southbound lane of Imperial Avenue.

Update:  This morning, the suspect identified in the incident where both he and the officer were stuck by a vehicle, was arrested.  Joel Cortez OBESO, 42 of El Centro, was contacted and arrested by the Brawley Police Department as he awaited a court hearing on another case.  He will be booked for pending charges associated with the incident from last night. 

As with all criminal cases before the court, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  We thank all those who assisted with this case and continued support for the El Centro Police Department and Officer Crankshaw.  We also pray that OBESO recovers from any injuries he may have sustained during the incident.

The officer grabbed the suspect who continued to disobey directions and the two of them fell to the pavement. As the officer wrestled with the combative suspect on the ground, they were both struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on Imperial Avenue.

After being struck by the vehicle, he managed to get himself into the center median out of harm’s way. The suspect was able to free himself, scaled and jumped a fence in the area, and fled the scene with the assistance of the other two parties he was initially seen with. Video shows one of the subjects giving their bicycle to the suspect, and the suspect is last seen riding away westbound on Scott Avenue.

Other officers I arrived on scene and rendered aid to the officer until the arrival of medical personnel. The officer was flown to Desert Regional Medical Center by Reach Air. Officer Crankshaw was later released from Desert Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and is expected to have a speedy recovery. El Centro Police Chief Brian Johnson Remarked to staff that “St. Michael was looking out for Daniel (Crankshaw) tonight”.

The El Centro Police Department Criminal Investigations Division is currently following up on information and leads regarding the identity of the suspect in this case.