Officers hospitalized after chase, collision

Officers hospitalized after chase, collision

Four Beaumont police officers and another man were hospitalized Thursday, Jan. 17, after a routine traffic stop turned ugly at the intersection of College Street and Martin Luther King Parkway in Beaumont.

According to a BPD press release, at approximately 3:15 p.m., police stopped a gray Buick for a routine traffic stop in the southbound lanes of MLK Parkway at Franklin Street. The suspect, who police later identified as 19-year-old Ronnie Bobino of Beaumont, fled from the vehicle and into oncoming traffic, according to witnesses on the scene.  

When the suspect crossed the grass median with police in hot pursuit, Jonathan Morfin — who was involved in one of two subsequent collisions caused by the pursuit — said he saw the whole thing. 

"Cops stopped a guy right there and he took off running and they almost ran the cop over, and the guy, right there," he said, pointing to the southbound lanes of MLK Parkway. "So when we saw him coming, they ran this way and we stopped and he (the truck behind Morfin) didn't get to stop in time."

Two officers were injured as they chased the suspect on foot and were transferred to Baptist Hospital. Police later caught Bobino at the dead end of Milam Street in some tall grass where they found a handgun and marijuana in Bobino's possession, according to the press release. 

In the moments after the man fled, two other officers crossed the intersection of MLK Parkway and College Street, striking Jerran Coleman's vehicle, who said he didn't see the police cruiser as it crossed a red light in pursuit of the suspect. 

Huddled next to his totaled red Ford Escort, Coleman was visibly shaken. 

"I'm going to the hospital," said the 18-year-old LIT student. 

Coleman and the third and fourth officers were taken to Baptist hospital by private auto with non-life-threatening injuries. 

At least 15 police cruisers were on the scene, directing traffic and helping to remove disabled vehicles near the intersection for at least an hour after the calamity had begun. 

Bobino was charged with felony evading arrest, unlawfully carrying a weapon and possession of marijuana, according to the press release.