SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A man charged with using his car as a deadly weapon against police and having gun ammunition on him after a high-speed chase through the Bay Area pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday morning.
Jeffrey Ruano, 50, of San Francisco, returned to San Francisco Superior Court Tuesday morning in red prison attire and cuffs on his wrists and ankles to enter his plea for allegedly trying to ram officers with his car on March 10 in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Ruano was arrested early on the morning of March 11 after a pursuit from Richmond to San Jose. He was allegedly carrying a bullet in his pocket but no gun.
The series of events started when officers responded to a report of vandalism near the 1300 block of Florida Street around 2:45 p.m. on March 10.
The officers pulled over a vehicle believed to be connected to the vandalism and San Francisco police Officer Adam Shaw, 28, who has been on the force for six years, approached the driver.
Allegedly, the driver, later identified as Ruano, tried to ram the officers and that is when Shaw’s partner opened fire.
Shaw was then hit by a bullet in his left bicep.
Police have said they are looking into the possibility that his
partner accidentally shot him but have not confirmed whether that was the case.
Shaw was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he underwent surgery and has since been recovering. He is expected to survive the shooting, according to police.
Ruano was able to drive away from the scene. His car was later found abandoned in Daly City.
That night, authorities spotted him with two females in a white sedan in Richmond.
A police chase ensued and went through Danville and eventually ended in San Jose, where Ruano was taken into custody.
Ruano was allegedly found with a .38-caliber cartridge in his pants pocket, but no gun, according to police.
Tuesday morning, Stephen Olmo from the city’s public defender’s office said outside of court that there is “nothing to indicate that (Ruano) ever fired a weapon.”
He said six or seven rounds were fired, but witnesses “didn’t see Ruano with a gun.”
No charges have been filed against Ruano in connection with the shooting. The deadly weapon charge refers to his vehicle.
Olmo said although Ruano, who lives in the Mission District, has had some “scrapes in the past,” he has been working as a professional driver and wasn’t doing anything that warranted deadly force on a Saturday afternoon near a school.
Ruano was previously convicted of felony evasion and other charges out of San Mateo County after a high-speed police chase in a stolen car with drugs inside in November 1997.
Olmo said he didn’t know of any warrants out for Ruano’s arrest before the shooting incident.
Ruano’s arraignment had been postponed twice in the past week at Olmo’s request to allow for more time to look over evidence.
Deputy District Attorney Aaron Laycook said last week in court that the case is “extensive” and the amount of evidence “so voluminous” that prosecutors needed more time to turn over all documents, including witness information and any video footage.
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