TRACY (CBS13) — A Tracy man is facing an attempted homicide charge after he allegedly intentionally drove into a code enforcement officer at a park earlier this week.
Tracy police say, just after 8 a.m. Monday, the code enforcement officer was helping with a routine clean-up at El Pescadero Park when they reported seeing a vehicle driving erratically.
“They were looking and they saw this car and it was racing here and it was racing there,” Marie Wood, who spoke with those in the park who witnessed Monday’s incident, said.
“Cops everywhere. There were firefighters. There was an ambulance. Police were going through the park really rapidly,” Perla Lupian, whose family lives across the street from the park, said.
A little while later, police got another call – this time reporting that the erratic driver had intentionally driven into the code enforcement officer.
“What occurred on Monday was nothing short of a heinous act of violence upon one of our professional staff that will not be tolerated,” said Tracy Police Chief Sekou Millington in a statement.
Police say several witnesses called to report the incident. Further, with the suspect still driving erratically, someone from the City’s Community Preservation Unit also drove into the scene with a heavy equipment tractor to shield the injured officer.
“Our City family came together to protect one of our own from further harm and acted swiftly to identify and take the suspect into custody and for that, I’m forever grateful,” Millington said. “I can’t be more thankful for them being quick-witted and be willing to step in the way of harm to protect one of my officers who was down. They’re heroes in my eyes.”
Chief Millington told CBS13 that he had seen similar incidents to this one in other parts of the country on the news. But, he said this is the first time he had seen this happen in Tracy during his tenure as police chief.
“You got to imagine that it was pretty traumatic, nerve-racking. Everyone was worried, concerned,” Millington said.
The suspect took off as police officers were getting to the scene, prompting a chase that eventually stopped near the intersection of MacArthur Drive and Grant Line Road.
Officers say the suspect — 25-year-old Tracy resident Zachery Lingle — got out and continued to resist, but he was eventually arrested. No other injuries were reported.
Lingle has since been medically cleared at a hospital and was booked into San Joaquin County Jail. He’s facing charges of attempted homicide and resisting arrest.
“The world is really different now. So, you know, it’s somebody who was obviously really upset about the world,” Wood said.
The injured code enforcement officer is expected to make a full recovery, police say.
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