An Auburn Police Officer saved by fast acting citizens follow a chase and car crash Tuesday evening. At approximately 8:25 pm, an officer attempted to make a traffic stop on a subject who was riding on a motorcycle in the area of Lincoln Way and Electric St after the motorcyclist failed to stop at a red light. The motorcyclist, later identified as 29 year old Ryan Schlittenhart of Meadow Vista, CA, failed to stop and attempted to evade the officer at high speeds to get away. The officer pursued the motorcyclist and in doing so, he lost control of his car in the 200 block of Lincoln Way and crashed into a retaining wall. The officer’s patrol car became engulfed in flames and preliminary reports reveal the officer was unable to open his door to get out. Two nearby witnesses responded quickly to the situation and were able to pull the officer from the car as the flames continued to engulf the vehicle. The officer, who was injured, was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and later released.
The California Highway Patrol’s Air Unit located the motorcyclist in the 90 block of Lincoln Way, as he was attempting to hide from additional responding law enforcement personnel. The motorcyclist, was arrested for driving under the influence and evading a peace officer.
Chief Ryan L. Kinnan said “I am extremely thankful of the quick actions taken by the two bystanders tonight. Their courage to put themselves in harms’ way to save our police officer is beyond exemplary. Their actions, without a doubt, saved our police officer from being severely injured or worse.”