SAN DIEGO : Off-Duty Officer Chases Suspect

An off-duty San Diego Police officer wounded a 22-year-old transient early Saturday morning after the officer heard people screaming about a purse-snatching in downtown.

Joel Martinez, 22, was in stable condition Saturday night at UCSD Medical Center with three wounds to his buttocks, a nursing supervisor said.

The officer, whom police did not identify, was walking with a friend shortly after 1 a.m. when he heard a woman scream about a man having stolen her purse. The officer began running after a man fleeing east from the G Street and 5th Avenue intersection.

A police spokesman said the officer identified himself to the suspect as he approached the man on 6th Avenue south of F and ordered him to stop. The man dropped the purse but turned toward the officer, who then fired three times, the spokesman said. No weapon was found on the suspect at the scene, the spokesman said, but added it is not known whether the man was armed at the time of the snatching.

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