CHP officer slashed before officer-involved shooting in Livingston

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
CHP officer slashed in Livingston officer-involved shooting
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A North Valley law enforcement officer is recovering after an attack left him with cuts to his face and arm.

LIVINGSTON, Calif. (KFSN) -- A pool of blood stained a Livingston street after a California Highway Patrol officer was slashed with a sharp object. The attack ended with an officer-involved shooting early Tuesday morning.

Action News is learning more about the suspect in that violent encounter. Family members say Raul Maldonado, 24, suffers from a mental illness and didn't understand what was happening before or after the incident. But police say he put an officer's life in danger.

Maldonado was booked into jail on attempted murder charges and is being held on more than $600,000 bail. Investigators say he ambushed a CHP officer after making prank 911 calls.

Authorities spent hours on Linden Court near Celia Drive Tuesday after an officer was slashed in the face and arm. His blood soaked the street as he waited for help, but the attack actually happened on the second floor of a home. Police say CHP officers went there around midnight after their dispatchers received several prank calls from a cellphone.

"What was told to me was he was making threats to the dispatchers or the call takers and kind of making sexual innuendos toward them and things like that," said Sgt. Ray Fong with the Livingston Police Department.

The suspect's grandmother let officers into the home, and they went into the 24-year-old's bedroom. That's when investigators say he ambushed one of them with a sharp object.

"A round was fired at this time," said Fong. "We don't know who fired the shot, but the subject was eventually subdued by Taser and taken into custody."

Authorities say the officer's bullet struck a cellphone or iPod in Maldonado's pocket, and only grazed his leg. He was treated, interviewed and booked into jail. Family members say they're upset that he was questioned because he's mentally ill and couldn't understand his Miranda rights. But police say it's standard procedure.

"It's more a responsibility of the court legal system to determine whether the person was mentally capable of understanding their rights; that's a legal question to be answered later on," said Fong.

The Livingston Police Department will handle the criminal investigation in this case, while the CHP conducts its own administrative investigation. We're told the injured officer was taken to a local hospital but is expected to make a full recovery.