Local News

Raleigh Officer Run Over; Suspect Shot

Posted July 4, 2004

— Raleigh police officer J.M. Rios was treated at WakeMed and released early Sunday after being run over and pinned under a vehicle during a traffic stop.

The suspect, Robert Uhara Coleman, was undergoing surgery at WakeMed Sunday after being shot during the incident.

Shortly after midnight, according to police, Raleigh officers observed a vehicle that had been reported as stolen and attempted to affect a traffic stop. After initially refusing to pull over, the driver of the vehicle, identified as Coleman, entered the parking lot of the Crown station at the intersection of Capital Boulevard and Brentwood Road.

As he approached on foot, Rios was run over and pinned under the vehicle. In the course of coming to Rios' aid, Officer V. J. Espinoza discharged his firearm, striking Coleman.

Espinoza joined the police department Sept. 3, 2002, also is assigned to Field Operations. He has been placed on administrative duties in accordance with departmental policy.

As required by departmental procedure, the State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation. When the investigation is complete, it will be provided to Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby.

The department's Internal Affairs Unit is conducting an administrative investigation, which will be reviewed by supervisory staff.

Rios, who joined the police department Oct. 2, 2000, is assigned to the Field Operations Division.

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