San Bernardino officer struck by car while investigating vandalism

18-year-old arrested on suspicion of driving under influence and hitting San Bernardino cop car

A San Bernardino police officer was hospitalized with head and back injuries Monday night when an alleged drunk driver crashed into his squad car, department officials said.

The incident occurred about 10:30 p.m. near 5th Street and Mt. Vernon Avenue when Steven Portillo, 18, allegedly tried to make a left turn onto 5th and smashed into the officer's parked squad car while he was investigating a vandalism report.

The officer had a “pretty serious” back injury and cuts to his head, said Lt. Richard Lawhead.

Portillo tried to run from the scene but was arrested by another officer who was also in the area responding to the vandalism call. A suspect in the vandalism incident was also arrested, Lawhead said.

Portillo was also taken to a local hospital and has since been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Monday's incident was the latest in which a police officer was injured by a suspected drunk driver. In April, Los Angeles police motorcycle Officer Chris Cortijo was killed when an alleged drunk driver rear-ended his bike and pinned him against another vehicle. 

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