Santa Cruz police are looking for two people suspected of hitting and dragging a police officer with a truck after the officer stopped them on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle on Wednesday. An officer spotted a suspicious truck around 10 p.m. in the 200 block of Jackson Street, police said.
The officer pulled up, contacted the occupants and ran a preliminary check on them and the truck, which had paper dealership plates. Just as dispatch was advising him that the truck was stolen, the driver started the truck and pulled away, dragging the officer — who was standing on the driver’s side — nearly 30 feet, police said.
The officer was thrown from the side of the truck and narrowly escaped being run over, police said. Other officers responded and eventually found the truck abandoned on Isabel Court, but could not find the occupants. Witnesses told police a car came by and picked them up. A search of the truck revealed heroin and other items police believe were also stolen.
The suspects have been identified as Ryan Mang, 37, and Shivhan Armstrong. Police did not provide an age for Armstrong.Both have extensive criminal records, police said. The officer who was injured is 37-years-old and a nine-year veteran of the department, according to police. He was transported to Dominican Hospital and released this morning. The officer will remain off-duty while he recovers from his injuries, police said.
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