Man arrested for OWI after hitting squad car - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Man arrested for OWI after hitting squad car

BELOIT (WXOW) -- A Beloit man is behind bars, after driving a police patrol car off the road and sideswiping it.

21-year-old Pablo Cruz-Ramirez is now facing a charge of recklessly endangering safety and citations, including operating while intoxicated.

It started around 1:10 a.m. Monday, when police say Cruz-Ramirez hit a telephone pole along a highway.  According to officers, Cruz-Ramirez fled the scene, leaving the front bumper and license plate of his 2002 Chevrolet Impala behind.

Members of the Janesville Police Department and deputies from the Rock County Sheriff's Office began searching for the vehicle.  A Janesville police sergeant spotted the Impala traveling northbound on South River Rd under the Hwy 11 bypass.  When the sergeant pulled over to the side of the road trying to turn around the Impala as it passed him, the driver began to veer across the centerline toward the Janesville Sergeant's patrol vehicle.

Police say the Janesville sergeant drove off the roadway, but was unable to avoid a collision with the Impala.  According to authorities, Cruz-Ramirez was traveling completely in the southbound lane of traffic and sideswiped the fully-marked patrol car.

The car had minor damage, while the Impala was heavily damaged.  Police say their investigation shows Cruz-Ramirez purposely drove toward the squad car, trying to crash the police vehicle.

The 21-year-old was taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center as a precaution but did not appear to have any injuries. The Janesville Police Department Sergeant was not hurt.

While speaking with Cruz-Ramirez, deputies reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol.

Cruz-Ramirez refused to perform field sobriety tests and to submit to chemical testing, so his blood alcohol level during the accident is unclear.

After being medically cleared, Cruz-Ramirez was transported to the Rock County Jail and booked for 1st degree recklessly endangering safety and was given the following citations; Operating while intoxicated 1st offense, operating while suspended, open intoxicant in a motor vehicle, operating left of center line and seatbelt violation.

He'll also be receiving several citations from the Town of Beloit Police Department for the hit and run accident with the telephone pole.

Cruz-Ramirez will have jail court on Tuesday.

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