UPDATE (1:30 p.m. Wednesday) 

EL CENTRO — The male suspect believed to be involved in a physical altercation with an El Centro police officer Tuesday night was arrested Wednesday, El Centro Police Department announced.

Joel Cortez Obeso, 42, of El Centro, was allegedly the subject involved in Tuesday's incident, which both he and the officer were struck by a vehicle at about 10 p.m. in the 1000 block of North Imperial Avenue.

The officer attempted to subdue Obeso, who was detained for questioning, when the two were struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on Imperial Avenue.

Officer Daniel Crankshaw remained on scene and was briefly hospitalized while Obeso fled the scene.

Authorities continued their search for Obeso.

The 42-year-old was eventually contacted and arrested Wednesday by the Brawley Police Department as he awaited a court hearing on another case, ECPD stated.

“He will be booked for pending charges associated with the incident from last night,” ECPD Cmdr. Aaron Reel stated Wednesday. “As with all criminal cases before the court, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. We thank all those who assisted with this case and continued support for the El Centro Police Department and Officer Crankshaw. We also pray that OBESO recovers from any injuries he may have sustained during the incident.”

The department is looking to charge the suspect and is currently coordinating with the county District Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate felony charges, Reel stated.


El Centro police seek male subject

EL CENTRO -- An El Centro Police Department officer was briefly hospitalized Tuesday night after being struck by a vehicle during an attempt to subdue a man who was detained for questioning. 

At about 10:10 p.m., Officer Daniel Crankshaw attempted to conduct a stop on a Hispanic male adult on a bicycle in the 1000 block of North Imperial Avenue, ECPD reported.

Crankshaw had seen the suspect in the area of Imperial and Villa Avenue with two other males on bikes prior to attempting his stop. The officer followed the suspect for a short distance in the area prior to attempting to stop him.

When ordered to stop by Crankshaw, the suspect allegedly refused, and the officer pursued him and was able to catch up to him in the area of the No. 2 southbound lane of Imperial Avenue, an ECPD press release stated.

Crankshaw grabbed the suspect who continued to disobey commands and the two of them fell to the pavement, ECPD reported. As the officer wrestled with the combative suspect on the ground, they were both struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on Imperial Avenue.

After being struck by the vehicle, Crankshaw managed to get himself into the center median out of harm’s way. The suspect was able to free himself, scaled and jumped a fence in the area, and allegedly fled the scene with the assistance of the other two parties he was initially seen with, ECPD reported.

Video shows one of the subjects giving their bicycle to the suspect, and the suspect is last seen riding away westbound on Scott Avenue. The driver of the vehicle remained on scene and was cooperative with the investigative efforts of law enforcement personnel.

Other officers on arrived on scene and rendered aid to Crankshaw until the arrival of medical personnel. He was flown to Desert Regional Medical Center by Reach Air.

Crankshaw was later released from Desert Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and is expected to have a speedy recovery.

ECPD Chief Brian Johnson remarked to staff that “St. Michael was looking out for Daniel (Crankshaw) tonight,” the department reported.

The ECPD Criminal Investigation is following up on information regarding the identity of the suspect in this case. The California Highway Patrol assisted the El Centro Police Department with the collision investigation.

The ECPD thanks El Centro Fire Personnel, El Centro Regional and Desert Regional Medical Centers and AMR ambulance for their assistance.

The department is looking to charge the suspect and is currently coordinating with the county District Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate felony charges, Cmdr Aaron Reel stated.

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