Sheriff involved in ‘hit and run’ by red light runner in Coachella

News headline from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department:

Shortly after midnight on April 25th, an on-duty Riverside County Deputy Sheriff was involved in a traffic collision at Van Buren and Avenue 50 in Coachella.  Officers from the Coachella Police Department, the La Quinta Police, the Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol responded to the scene to assist.

It appears a late model gray Kia, occupied by two men, ran through a red light at the intersection, colliding with the rear passenger side of the Deputy Sheriff’s patrol unit, causing major damage to both vehicles.

The driver of the Kia fled the scene on foot and was not located until later that morning.  Investigators learned that the suspect was possibly staying at a residence in the city of Coachella.  The residence was placed under surveillance and they observed the suspect leaving the residence.

At approximately 11:10 a.m., investigators conducted a traffic stop on the suspect at the intersection of Avenue 50 and Harrison in Coachella.  Cornelio Tapia, 23, of Coachella, was taken into custody without incident.  He was transported to the Indio CHP Office where he was interviewed about the traffic collision.  He was booked into the jail in Indio for felony hit and run.

The passenger in the Kia, Leonardo Salcido, 23, of La Quinta, did not suffer any injuries.  Salcido was placed under arrest for public intoxication and booked at the jail in Indio.

It is believed this collision may have been alcohol-related.

The Deputy Sheriff involved in the collision, whose name was not released, was transported to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs with minor injuries.

Anyone with additional information, is asked to call 911, or contact dispatch at 760-836-3215.  Investigators can also be contacted at 760-863-8990, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 760-341-STOP, or email to, referring to case Y121160003.

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Monday, April 30, 2012

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