A California Highway Patrol officer found himself the target of an angry mob as he attempted to make a traffic stop in Fresno on Sept. 25, the Washington Post reports.
The unidentified officer was responding to several calls about illegal street racing and reckless driving a few miles outside of downtown Fresno. He arrived on the scene and got out of his vehicle to make a traffic stop when people in a gathered crowd yelled for the driver of the vehicle to leave. The driver sped off, and the officer went back to his vehicle to chase him.
That’s when the crowd of 30 or 40 people reportedly surrounded the officer’s SUV and began hitting and kicking it, yelling “[F–k] the police.”
The officer was able to drive away unharmed, but the vehicle sustained $12,000 worth of damage.
The incident was captured on video, which police are using to try to identify those involved.
Fresno police have arrested three men in connection with the incident, according to the Fresno Bee, including the alleged driver of the vehicle the officer was attempting to stop. The officer’s dashcam and a license plate reader led to that arrest.
Another man was arrested after his fingerprints were reportedly traced from the officer’s SUV.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said at a news conference that there appears to be a willingness from some people to attack police officers, the Fresno Bee reports.
“We know what the environment is across the nation today, with protests, riots and police officers being attacked and a lot of the criticism that law enforcement faces,” Dyer said. “I believe this is a symptom of that.”
Police are still looking for more suspects connected with the incident.
“We’re going to identify as many people as possible that were involved in this incident and we’re going to arrest them,” Dyer said. “We’ll work with the DA’s office to prosecute them and make sure they’re prosecuted on some serious felony charges.”