Local News

Janesville squad car struck by suspected drunken driver

Police officer escapes injury

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. - A Janesville police officer escaped injury when a suspected drunken driver intentionally crashed into the officer's squad car, according to the Rock County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said town of Beloit police were dispatched to South Afton Road south of West County Road Q at 1:10 a.m. Monday for a report of a hit-and-run crash. Police said they found that a car had struck a telephone pole and fled, leaving a bumper and license plate at the scene.

Janesville police and Rock County Sheriff's deputies were called to help find the car.

A Janesville police officer found the car traveling north on South River Road under the Highway 11 bypass. According to deputies, the officer pulled over to attempt to turn around on the car as it passed him and was sideswiped when the car crossed the centerline toward the squad car. Deputies said the officer drove off the road completely but was unable to avoid a collision.

There was minor damage to the squad car and the officer wasn't injured.

Pablo Cruz-Ramirez, 21, of Beloit was taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center as a precaution, but deputies said he didn't appear to have any injuries.

Deputies said they could smell a strong odor of intoxicants on Cruz-Ramirez, and he refused chemical testing or field sobriety testing.

Investigators said they determined Cruz-Ramirez purposely drove toward the squad car with the intent to crash into it.

Cruz-Ramirez was arrested on suspicion of first-degree recklessly endangering safety and was cited on suspicion of first-offense operating while intoxicated, operating while suspended, having an open intoxicant in a vehicle, operating left of the center line and a seat belt violation. He will also face other citations from the town of Beloit related to the telephone pole crash.

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