MURRIETA: Officer and PRCS probationer injured during early morning arrest
MURRIETA – A Murrieta Police officer and a suspect both sustained minor injuries during a foot pursuit and arrest that occurred on Mar. 15, according to Murrieta Police Lieutenant Tony Conrad.
The incident began at about 1:00 a.m., when a Murrieta Police officer observed an adult male acting suspiciously in front of the 7-11 store on California Oaks Road, in the city of Murrieta. Based on the officer’s training and experience, he determined the subject’s behavior was suspicious and warranted further investigation.
When the officer attempted to make contact with the man, who was later identified as Ben Robert Douglass, 39, of Lake Elsinore, he refused to follow the officer’s directions and fled on foot.
The officer gave chase and pursued Douglass on foot, while continually ordering the fleeing suspect to stop running.
As Douglass attempted to run across California Oaks Road, the officer caught up with him in the #2 westbound traffic lanes of the roadway. Douglass still refused to comply with the officer’s lawful commands, and he scuffled with the officer in the middle of the roadway. The officer was eventually forced to deploy a “Taser” electronic control device.
“The suspect was ultimately taken into custody,” Conrad said. “Both the officer and suspect sustained minor injuries during the altercation.” Both Douglass and the officer were evaluated and treated at the scene by paramedics and other emergency first responders.
Further investigation by Murrieta Police officers revealed Douglass, was on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) probation for assault and he had an extensive criminal history for narcotics and theft related charges and convictions. Additionally, Douglass had two warrants, including a felony, no-bail warrant for a previous assault and PRCS violation.
Officers transported Douglass to the Southwest Detention Center where he was booked for his felony no-bail warrant for PRCS violation, a misdemeanor warrant for petty theft and obstructing or resist an officer. His bail was set at $5,000, however Douglass faces a revocation hearing for his PRCS warrant as well as previous assault charges as well as the new charge he received regarding this incident.
In discussing the incident and arrest, Conrad said, “It should be noted that Mr. Ben Douglass is an AB109 probationer.” Conrad continued, “AB109, also known as Post Release Community Supervision, was signed into law in November 2011. It allows thousands of ‘less serious’ offenders to remain out of custody and on probation, while they would have previously been eligible for prison.”
Douglass is scheduled for arraignment at the Southwest Justice Center on May 13, at 7:30 a.m.
Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to contact the Murrieta Police Department at (951) 461-6309. Callers can refer to incident file number 1603M-3264 and can remain anonymous.
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