Good Samaritans pull Calif. officer from burning car after pursuit

"Their actions, without a doubt, saved our police officer from being severely injured or worse"

By Michael McGough
The Sacramento Bee

AUBURN, Calif. —The Auburn Police Department says an officer crashed his car into a wall during a high-speed chase, and a pair of Good Samaritans helped rescue him from his patrol vehicle, which caught fire.

The officer gave chase to a motorcycle that ran a red light near Lincoln Way and Electric Street shortly before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, the department wrote in an overnight news release.

The motorcyclist fled the officer at high speeds. The officer lost control of his car in the 200 block of Lincoln Way and "crashed into a retaining wall," according to the news release.

The patrol vehicle "became engulfed in flames" and the officer was trapped inside, police said.

"Two nearby witnesses responded quickly to the situation and were able to pull the officer from the car as the flames continued to engulf the vehicle," the news release said.

The department says the officer, whose name is being withheld for privacy reasons, was transported to a hospital with injuries but released within hours.

California Highway Patrol personnel used aircraft to locate the motorcyclist further down on Lincoln Way, attempting to hide from law enforcement.

The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Ryan Schlittenhart of Meadow Vista, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and evading an officer, authorities said.

"I am extremely thankful of the quick actions taken by the two bystanders tonight," Auburn Police Chief Ryan Kinnan said in a statement. "Their courage to put themselves in harms' way to save our police officer is beyond exemplary.

"Their actions, without a doubt, saved our police officer from being severely injured or worse."


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NEWS RELEASE 21-04 Subject : Officer Involved in Traffic Collision Release By: Michael Garlock,...

Posted by Auburn Police Department (CA) on Wednesday, March 24, 2021

(c)2021 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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