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Investigation ongoing on BLM ranger for running over alleged fleeing parolee in Plaster City

February 09, 2010|By SILVIO J. PANTA, Staff Writer

PLASTER CITY — An investigation is under way of an incident involving a Bureau of Land Management ranger whose vehicle ran over a parolee during his flight from authorities, an official said Monday.

The parolee, identified in a sheriff’s log entry as 46-year-old Richard Rusk Orman, was flown out to a Palm Springs-area hospital after the 3:52 a.m. incident was reported Sunday, BLM public information officer Steve Razo said.

Orman suffered a broken right leg and left arm. It was not known for what Orman was on parole or what his condition was, Razo said.

The suspect, whose city of residence was not known, was driving on Evan Hewes Highway when the ranger tried pulling him over for expired registration tags on his vehicle, Razo said.

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But Orman allegedly sped away into the open desert and subsequently abandoned the pickup before fleeing on foot, Razo said.

The BLM ranger stopped his vehicle during the search when he heard a scream and found Orman injured, Razo said. Orman is suspected of taking off his boots to avoid leaving boot impressions on the ground, Razo said.

A helicopter with the U.S. Border Patrol was called in to assist in the search. A ground search began shortly after the pickup was seen, Razo said.

Since there was no death or shooting involved in the incident, the ranger, who Razo said he thinks has been with the BLM for eight years, has not been placed on paid administrative leave.

There was enough foliage in the darkened desert area for Orman to hide, Razo said. Charges of felony evading of a peace officer, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license are pending against Orman, Razo said.

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