Suspect Attempts Suicide by Cop in Fresno Hit and Run Case

February 25, 2009 7:19:03 PM PST
Chief Jerry Dyer said Samuel Velasquez sneaked up on officers in the Central Fresno wine warehouse and doggedly provoked them from an eight foot high platform. "He was holding the pipe over his head and yelling profanities at them and also yelling things such as 'come and get me'."Investigators said he told them he ditched the knife he was carrying and picked up a two foot metal pipe he found in the warehouse because he didn't think the cops would feel threatened enough by a knife to shoot and kill him. Dyer said, "When the investigator asked him 'suicide by cop' and his reply was 'yes'."

Officers did fire six rounds but they all missed. It was the taser that knocked the 39 year old father to the ground. Minutes earlier a few blocks away another Fresno police officer shouted, "I need a medic! Get me a medic, now!"

Police said Velasquez slammed his car into motor officer Rudy Ruiz hurling him onto the street. Dyer still isn't sure if either saw the other coming. Officer Ruiz was rushed to a hospital with knee injuries, cuts and road rash. Doctors want him to stay at least one more day before releasing him.

The Chief said Velasquez had a disturbing agenda that almost took other officers down with him. "It does appear that at some point in time he made the decision that he no longer wanted to live and he wanted officers to kill him."

Police found a letter inside Velasquez's pocket. Dyer said, "The letter even appeared to be lamenting over some of the things that were going on in his family, problems and struggles in the family." Dyer said the letter may explain why he acted so recklessly.

This is the third motorcycle accident for Officer Ruiz. Concerned his officer's luck would run out, the boss told him he was being re-assigned. "I told him I said, 'Rudy I've been in emergency several times with you, you're coming off the motorcycle'. He said 'no I'm not'. Because he loves the motorcycle."

Dyer says Velasquez made somewhat of an apology after he was arrested saying he hopes the officer he hit was ok.

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