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Patrol unit hits store, officers hurt

December 14, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Two Brawley police officers suffered minor injuries today when their patrol units collided during a pursuit, causing one unit to crash into a Main Street business.

Officer Robert Vega and Sgt. Jeff Northup were both taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley. Police staffers said both officers were thought to be in good condition.

The collision occurred about 1 a.m. as Vega and Northup were backing up an officer involved in a foot pursuit in the 1100 block of G Street.

Vega had left the police station and was traveling east on Main. Northup left the station moments after Vega.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Northup was traveling about 40 mph on Main approaching Cesar Chavez Street.

Vega had stopped on the south curb of Cesar Chavez and as Northup approached he attempted a quick U-turn to position himself near the suspect being pursued by the other officer.

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Highway Patrol Officer Jason Burke said Vega turned into the path of Northup's patrol car, and Northup was unable to avoid a collision. Northup's car struck Vega's car, causing Vega's unit to crash into the Napa Auto Parts store on Main. Burke said Vega's unit crashed through a wall and ended up inside the business.

Northup's unit came to rest in the west lanes of Main.

The suspect being pursued was apprehended. He has been identified as Geronimo Womack, 29, of Brawley. He was booked into the county jail on suspicion of resisting arrest.

Police said the pursuit started when Womack saw an officer approaching and laid down in the street behind a vehicle in the 1100 block of G Street, then ran from the scene.

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