Stanislaus sheriff: Man nearly drove into deputy

Authorities arrested a man Tuesday after he tried to run down a Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy patrolling a Modesto trailer park, a sheriff's spokesman said.

But the suspect apparently came to his senses and stopped before a chase could begin, said deputy Royjindar Singh.

After nearly hitting the deputy with a blue Acura, Bryan Smith fled California Trailer Court in the compact car and headed north on South Seventh Street before he pulled over near Crows Landing Road, Singh said.

"He must've got smart or something. He just gave up," Singh said about Smith.

Smith, 25, of Modesto was taken into custody without further incident. No one was injured.

Singh said Smith was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and violating probation.

He said two deputies were conducting extra patrols at California Trailer Court at 613 S. Seventh St., just south of the Tuolumne River and east of Highway 99.

The deputies, wearing their regular patrol uniforms, parked their patrol cars and got out to walk around the trailer park, Singh said. About 2 p.m., the deputies spotted Smith in the driver's seat of the Acura.

The deputies said Smith appeared to be looking to buy some drugs, so they approached the vehicle. As the deputies got closer, Smith accelerated the car toward one of the deputies, Singh said.

The other deputy feared for his partner's life and fired his gun at the car, Singh said. A bullet struck the Acura's front end, but did not injure Smith.

The car continued toward the deputy. Singh said the car was about a foot from the deputy when he jumped out of the way.

The Acura left the trailer park. The deputies radioed for help and got in their cars to give chase, Singh said.

Sheriff's officials, Modesto police and the California Highway Patrol responded to the scene as a sheriff's helicopter circled above. Authorities closed Seventh Street between Crows Landing Road and Blankenburg Avenue.

The pursuit didn't last long because Smith stopped a block away.

Deputies didn't find any weapons or drugs in the Acura, Singh said.

Several residents were away when the incident occurred and were not allowed to return to their homes in the trailer park until sheriff's officials had collected evidence.

Authorities opened the street about 4:30 p.m. and allowed residents to return to their homes soon after, Singh said.

The Sheriff's Department asks anyone with information about this incident to call Detective Darwin Hatfield at 525-7100. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling CrimeStoppers at 521-4636 and be eligible for a cash reward.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.