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Local News in Brief : Man Pleads Guilty to Ramming Into Officer

A Newhall man accused of ramming his car into a motorcycle policeman and sideswiping three cars on the Golden State Freeway in September pleaded guilty Tuesday to battery of a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon.

In a plea bargain with prosecutors, Oscar William Smith, 36, will receive an agreed-upon sentence of 11 years in prison, Deputy Dist. Atty. Rosalie Morton said.

In the Sept. 12 incident, Smith, who was driving a red 1987 Nissan sports car, sideswiped three cars before knocking Los Angeles Police Officer James K. Johnson off his motorcycle just south of the San Fernando Mission Boulevard exit. Smith then fled.

Johnson was off duty, but was in uniform and driving his police motorcycle to work at the time of the incident, a police spokesman said. He was hospitalized for back and internal injuries and has recovered. No one else was seriously injured.

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Smith was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers outside his apartment after getting out of his car, which matched the description of the vehicle in the hit-and-run case. He originally was charged with attempted murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.


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