Seal Beach officer files on man who intentionally struck officer with his car

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An officer who was in this Seal Beach Police patrol car when a suspect’s vehicle struck it was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Photo courtesy of Seal Beach Police Department

A Seal Beach Police officer fired at a man who according to police intentionally struck the officer with his  car.  Another officer was injured when the suspect’s car struck his vehicle. The suspect was not  hit  by the  gunfire and both the  involved officers and suspect were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening  injuries.

The officers injured during this incident are recovering and are seeking follow up medical care.

The suspect sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for an evaluation. Two children were involved in the incident. The children are safe.  They were also provided with medical care and have been released to family members.

As the suspect in this incident was not hit by the gunfire, it is the policy of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office not to respond to investigate.  The SBPD will conduct the investigation into this use of force per our policy.

The last officer involved shooting in Seal Beach occurred in March of 2017.

In December 2012,  a Garden Grove officer used deadly force at the conclusion of a pursuit that ended in Seal Beach. In October 2013, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office concluded that the officer was justified in fatally shooting  the suspect.

Timeline

On  Saturday, June 6, 2020 at approximately 6:36 p.m., the  Seal Beach Police Department received a call  of a four-car traffic collision in the  area of Seal Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway.  Seal Beach officers responded and began conducting the  traffic collision investigation.  While the  officers were investigating the initial traffic collision, another call  was received of a possible drunk driver which was driving northbound on  Pacific Coast Highway near Seal Beach Boulevard.

A Seal Beach police officer was on  foot investigating the  initial collision when he  was intentionally struck by the reported drunk driver’s vehicle.  The officer then fired his duty weapon at the  driver through the  front windshield; however, the  driver was not  struck by the  gunfire.

The suspect fled northbound on  Pacific Coast Highway at a high rate of speed where his  vehicle collided with the  driver side of another Seal Beach police officer while he was driving his police car.  The suspect vehicle then careened into another, uninvolved car head-on where it came to rest.

The suspect then fled the vehicle and led  officers on  a short foot pursuit with a small child in hand (later determined to be the suspect’s 4-year-old  daughter).  Officers located the  suspect and were able to remove the  child from his  grip before being tased by a police officer’s issued Taser.  The suspect was taken into custody shortly thereafter.  Officers also later discovered that when the  suspect fled on  foot, he  abandoned his  12 -year-old  younger brother in the  car.

The suspect, later identified as  Oscar Eduardo Mercado, 23,  of Long Beach, was transported to a local hospital for  evaluation.  The Seal Beach officer who was struck by the suspect’s vehicle was transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Additionally, the  police officer who was driving the  police car  which was struck by the suspect’s vehicle was also transported to a hospital for  an  evaluation.

Seal Beach Police say Oscar Eduardo Mercado, pictured above, deliberately struck an officer with a car. The officer fired through the windshield of the car he was driving. The gunfire did not hit him. Courtesy photo

The suspect was later transported to the  Orange County Jail  where he  was booked on several charges including suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on  a police officer, felony hit and run, felony child endangerment for  both children, and resisting or delaying a peace officer with violence.

“Once the officers discovered there were children involved in this incident, they immediately put  the  safety and well-being of the  children first,” said Chief of Police Philip L. Gonshak. “The officers’ efforts should be commended as all of the  children involved are safe at home with their family.”

This is an  ongoing investigation.  Police are asking anyone with information to call Detective Jeff Gibson at 562-799-4100 ext. 1109.