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Suspect in ramming of police vehicle charged with seven offenses
A felony complaint was filed Friday in Yuma Justice Court against the Somerton man who earlier this week allegedly rammed a police vehicle with a stolen pickup before fleeing the scene.
Christian Michael Silva, 22, was charged with felony offenses of aggravated assault of a police officer, theft of means of transportation, unlawful flight from pursuing law enforcement, criminal damage and endangerment. He was also charged with two misdemeanor offenses, one count each of criminal trespass and animal cruelty.
Silva was arraigned before Yuma Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart, who ordered his bond remain at $250,000 set at during a previous hearing.
In addition to assigning the Yuma County Public Defender's Office to represent him, Stewart set Silva's next court date, a preliminary hearing, for Sept. 7 at 4 p.m.
The incident happened at about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday when a Yuma Police Department K-9 Unit tried to stop a 2010 Ford pickup for a traffic violation at 13th Street and 8th Avenue.
Silva allegedly stopped the vehicle, placed it in reverse, and intentionally rammed into the marked SUV. The officer and his K-9 partner were not injured. He then allegedly drove south along the 1300 block of 8th Avenue where he crashed into a tree on the east side of the road.
According to a witness, Silva exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Meanwhile, the pickup was reported stolen from a nearby restaurant.
Several YPD officers searched for Silva in the surrounding streets. They found him, along with 21-year-old Elena Gasca of Yuma, walking in the 1400 block of South 7th Avenue a short time later.
Officers placed the two in handcuffs and questioned them as personnel with the Yuma Fire Department arrived to inspect Silva for injuries. Gasca was placed in the rear of a police interceptor but later released from custody. She is under investigation for theft of means of transportation.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.