BODY CAM VIDEO: Woman slips out of handcuffs, hits Santa Cruz deputy with patrol car

Bay Area

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday released body cam footage of last week’s officer-involved shooting in which the suspect got into a patrol car and hit a deputy. 

According to the Sheriff’s Office, deputies were in the area of Ocean Street Extension on May 18 just before 4 a.m. due to recent neighborhood concerns over illegal activity. 

At the scene, deputies found two parked cars, one of which was reported stolen out of San Jose. 

Authorities say 27-year-old Jessica Lowe and a man were standing between the cars when deputies arrived.

According to officials, deputies detained the man and Lowe in handcuffs to investigate and the two were placed in separate patrol cars while they were being questioned.

While Deputy Waltrip started to search the stolen car and another deputy interviewed the man, officials say Lowe slipped out of her handcuffs and was able to reach through the back window and open the door of the other patrol car. 

Officials say Lowe then got into the driver’s seat and intentionally drove toward the second deputy. 

The crash forced the deputy into the backseat of his patrol car. He suffered significant injuries, according to authorities. 

“Deputy Waltrip heard the crash and his partner screaming in pain as he approached the patrol car driven by Lowe. Deputy Waltrip did not know if his partner was stuck underneath the car or pinned between the two cars. In fear of his partner’s life, Deputy Waltrip fired his service weapon two times at Lowe as he opened the driver’s side door to stop Lowe’s assault,” officials said in a statement. 

Officials say Deputy Waltrip could not locate the deputy who had been hit and as he was searching, the car’s reverse lights turned on and began to back up. 

At this time, Deputy Waltrip fired his weapon several more times, according to authorities. 

Lowe again drove back toward Deputy Waltrip and the injured deputy, officials say. 

Deputy Waltrip fired his weapon several more times, according to authorities. 

The two deputies were able to get behind a tree as Lowe stopped the car. 

Officials say Deputy Waltrip gave Lowe commands to get out of the car and she complied. 

Lowe was hit by three bullets, authorities say. She underwent surgery and is expected to recover. 

The injured deputy was treated at a local hospital and released but officials say he will need future medical care. 

Authorities say Lowe will be transferred to the Santa Cruz County Jail and face charges of Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer once she is released from the hospital. 

The District Attorney’s Office is investigating the shooting. 

Deputy Waltrip has been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues. 

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