VAN NUYS, CA — Police obtained medical treatment for a Grand Theft Auto suspect early Wednesday morning after arresting him for assault on police officers. On May 9, 2007, around 2:15 a.m., San Fernando Valley Bureau officers were alerted by police radio that a marked taxicab in Van Nuys had just been stolen. Approximately 30 minutes later, two uniformed Mission Area officers in their patrol car saw the taxi and attempted to stop it.

The suspect, driving the stolen vehicle, refused to yield and led police on a pursuit. As the pursuit entered the area of Sepulveda Boulevard and Rinaldi Street, officers employed the PIT (Pursuit Termination Technique) maneuver to stop the fleeing vehicle. While police stood outside of their patrol car, the suspect, later identified as Scott Spence, Caucasian, 48, attempted to ram them with the taxi. Spence then sped away.

The pursuit resumed. After officers used the PIT maneuver a second time, the taxi came to a stop in the 11300 block of Blucher Avenue in Mission Hills. According to policy, the police followed High-Risk Vehicle Stop procedures and ordered the suspect out of the car. Spence refused to comply with instructions and appeared to be preparing to drive away. Police Officer II Antonio Martin, 32, nine years with the Department, fired two beanbag rounds through the taxi’s partially opened door. One round struck Spence on the head.

The suspect was taken into custody without further incident. Paramedics transported Spence to Holy Cross Hospital where he received treatment for a laceration to the forehead. He was then released to police custody and charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Police Officer. Neither officer was injured. Force Investigation Division responded to the scene and is handling the injury investigation.

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