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Man Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Officer in Van on Riverside Freeway

Harold Harvey Hawks of Pomona, accused of killing an off-duty Corona police officer in a van that tried to pass him on the Riverside Freeway Aug. 22, pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge, the Riverside County district attorney’s office said.

Hawks, 26, reportedly told police that he fired his shotgun at Officer Patricia Dwyer’s van but said he didn’t know the 12-gauge slug had struck anyone. He told investigators he wanted only to scare the driver of a van that had flashed its bright lights and tried to pass him, according to Corona police.

A single slug ripped through the side of the Dwyer family van, killing Patricia Dwyer, 45, Corona’s first female police officer, a mother of three. It narrowly missed her son, then wounded a family friend, Wendy Varga.

Trial is set for April 6 in Riverside Superior Court.

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