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Man arrested, investigated for attempted murder of veteran after throwing tripod into I-5 traffic

A Caltrans surveying tripod was thrown from an overpass into a van carrying a veteran, who was seriously injured. (Military Family Support Group/Facebook)
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Officers from the California Highway Patrol arrested a homeless man Thursday morning after he allegedly threw a stolen Caltrans tripod onto Interstate 5 in downtown Sacramento, endangering the occupants of a van as it crashed through its windshield.

Military Family Support Group, a Placerville-based nonprofit that provides transportation, financial aid and other resources to El Dorado County veterans, said in a Facebook post Thursday that the vehicle involved in the incident was one of its vans.

A veteran riding in the front seat of the involved van was hospitalized with broken ribs and a partially collapsed lungs, and also required stitches, the post said. The van’s volunteer driver was not harmed.

The incident happened just after 10:30 a.m., when the Caltrans survey tripod was stolen from the corner of Neasham Circle and Front Street, CHP South Sacramento said in a news release.

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Five minutes later, the tripod “was deliberately thrown” from 2nd Street west of I-5, the news release said. The tripod crashed through the windshield of a Dodge van driving southbound on I-5, according to the news release and photos of the damage. A portion of 2nd Street overhangs the freeway.

The incident caused a “medical emergency” for an unknown number of occupants in the van, who were transported to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment and evaluation, CHP said. Their condition as of Friday morning was not known.

A suspect who was identified via surveillance video was located in the area of Front Street, near the initial theft, and approached by CHP officers about 1:20 p.m., according to the news release.

The suspect, identified only as a 32-year-old transient from Sacramento, fled the officer on foot but was quickly detained after a short pursuit and brief struggle, CHP said.

The man has been booked into Sacramento County jail for resisting a peace officer and for an active warrant.

An investigation into felony attempted murder is ongoing, handled by CHP South Sacramento’s special investigations unit.

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© 2019 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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