Man tries to hit Visalia Police officer with car

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A South Valley parolee has been arrested after attempting to hit an officer with his car.

34-year-old Kenneth Ray Johnson also tried to cross a river to avoid his arrest.

Police say he was found in a car in a parking lot. An officer was just trying to investigate and see what was going on when he nearly ran over him with his truck as he attempted to make his escape.

Two officers were driving near Lover's Lane and Millcreek Friday morning, when they noticed two men casing out Grace Community Church, so they turned around to investigate

They didn't find anything at the church, but moments later a witness told officers the two suspects jumped over a fence to an adjacent church.

Instead, officers found a white pickup truck with Johnson inside.

One of the investigators went up to the truck and started reading out the plate number to dispatch when they say Johnson turned on the truck and nearly hit the officer.

''When doing so the occupant of the vehicle turned it on, and the officer had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck. It then hit the patrol car and fled," says Visalia Police Sgt. Celestina Sanchez.

An officer who was patrolling nearby spotted the truck by the St. John's riverbank, and the suspect was trying to make a run for it.

Officers finally were able to catch Johnson and determine the car was stolen, and found several items, including burglary tools, shaved keys, and meth, in his car.

He's now booked on several charges, including assault charges and for violating parole.

The suspect is also charged with another non-injury car crash that occurred during the short pursuit.

Officers don't have any description on the other alleged suspect involved, and ask that anyone with information call detectives.
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