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Police: Man under influence of cocaine hits police cruiser, leads officers on chase

Staff Reports • Feb 15, 2012 at 11:12 PM

A Kingsport man reportedly under the influence of cocaine was arrested Wednesday after he struck a police cruiser during a short pursuit, police said in a news release.

Gerardo A. Soto, 30, 427 E. Sullivan St., Kingsport, was charged with vehicular assault on an officer, felony evading arrest, leaving the scene of an accident, driving on a revoked license and violation of the implied consent law.

Officers responded to a report of a fight in progress at 810 Lamont St., No. 3.

According to police, the apartment’s resident said two men had been fighting with each other and had left in a vehicle. Officers then heard what sounded like a crash in the alley behind the residence, at which point they saw a vehicle fleeing at a high rate of speed, damaging a fence post at a nearby house.

Police attempted to block the road as the vehicle continued traveling in their direction. As one of the officers approached the vehicle, Soto reportedly accelerated and intentionally drove toward the officers.

The officer managed to enter his vehicle just as Soto rammed his car into the side of the police cruiser before fleeing the scene, according to the release.

The vehicle was stopped a few blocks away and Soto was placed under arrest.

Police said Soto had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and was presumably under the influence of crack cocaine.

A records check revealed Soto’s license had been revoked for DUI.

Soto was being held in the Washington County Detention Center in lieu of $60,000 bond pending an appearance in Sessions Court today at 9 a.m.

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