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Alleged Drunk Driver Crashes Head-On Into Deputy's Cruiser

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) -- A man who drove into oncoming traffic struck a Larimer County deputies patrol car head-on, then resisted authorities after the crash.

After giving up, Raul Evelio Lopez-Lopez, 24, was jailed on charges of DUI, Reckless Driving, Resisting Arrest and Obstruction of a Police Officer.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office deputy was driving eastbound on Riverside Avenue at 1:30 a.m. Friday. The deputy reported seeing a vehicle driving westbound toward him in the eastbound lanes, LCSO stated in a press release, near Riverside's intersection with East Prospect Road in Fort Collins.

The vehicle in front of the deputy's cruiser swerved to avoid the oncoming car. The deputy then turned on his cruiser's emergency lights and slowed. The oncoming car, a Honda, collided with the front of the patrol vehicle.

The Honda driver, Lopez, attempted to drive his vehicle after the collision. The deputy called for assistance and held the driver at gunpoint while personnel from LCSO, Fort Collins Police Services, and Colorado State University Police responded and arrived.

LCSO's armored rescue vehicle, called a BearCat, was also sent to the scene.

Raul Evelio Lopez-Lopez MUG SHOT
Raul Evelio Lopez-Lopez (credit: Larimer County Sheriff's Office)

Lopez, according to LCSO, did not comply with officers' commands delivered in both English and Spanish to get out of the Honda, and appeared to be reaching for items inside the car.

Police then pinned the Honda between the BearCat and a patrol vehicle to prevent the Honda from being driving away.

Lopez, however, continued to disobey commands from police.

Police then shot a Pepperball irritant into the Honda to encourage the driver's exit. Lopez emerged but continued to not follow commands. He also put his hands in his pockets, police state, so irritants and a foam baton were launched directly at him. Lopez returned to the car's interior, only to be forced back out by another load of irritant sent into the Honda.

This time he gave up, police say.

Lopez was treated taken to a hospital for treatment of the irritants and then arrested.

The first officer was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released. That officer's cruiser and the Honda suffered moderate damage.

The incident occurred two days before Lopez's 25th birthday.

A search of online public records showed no other arrests or violations by Lopez in the state of Colorado.



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