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Man booked on alleged police assault

Sergeant says incident could have been ‘really, really bad’
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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A man was booked into Placer County Jail after allegedly assaulting an Auburn police officer with a deadly weapon, and the officer said the incident could have been really bad. Loomis resident Eric David Hill, 22, was driving an older model Chevrolet pickup on Lincoln Way in Old Town Auburn around 10:30 p.m. Thursday when he allegedly failed to stop at a Maple Street stop sign, according to a Friday morning Auburn Police Department press release. Sgt. Dale Hutchins said the idea of Hill possibly being intoxicated came into his mind, because Hill was driving erratically. “He stopped in the middle of the intersection of Commercial and Lincoln Way,” Hutchins said Friday afternoon. “The car was sitting at kind of a diagonal position toward the freeway.” Hutchins said Hill blew through the stop sign and onto the Interstate 80 offramp. The press release states Hutchins turned on his squad car’s lights and got behind the Chevrolet as Hill made a U-turn on the ramp. According to the press release, Hill allegedly stopped his vehicle and reversed quickly into the right front side of Hutchins’ car. Hill then allegedly drove forward, stopped and reversed again quickly, hitting Hutchins’ vehicle a second time. Hutchins said there were several things crossing his mind at that moment. “I had two concerns,” he said. “I had the guy who was ramming my car, and I had a huge concern about freeway traffic. My concern was who is going to come off the freeway at freeway speed and possibly hit me while this guy is ramming my car. It’s unnerving.” Hill allegedly drove back into Old Town, pursued by three police cars, according to the press release. According to the press release, Officer Gary Hopping took Hill into custody after he stopped his truck in front of Old Town Pizza. Hutchins said he was not hurt during the incident. Hutchins said Hill received some cuts during his arrest, and he was treated at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital before being booked. “When we arrested him one of our officers grabbed his left arm and told him to get out of the vehicle,” Hutchins said. “He came out of the vehicle arm and head first and hit the asphalt. Once we pulled him out of the vehicle he wasn’t combative or anything like that.” Hill was booked into Placer County Jail on charges of assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the press release. Hutchins said officers think Hill was spending time in Auburn Thursday night. “We do believe he had been drinking heavily in two of the local bars,” Hutchins said. Hutchins said he doesn’t know if Hill was with friends or alone. Hill was also booked on a charge of driving with a suspended license and two outstanding warrants, according to jail records. As of Friday afternoon, Hill was still in jail with $120,000 bail. Hutchins said he was glad the incident didn’t result in a death, like two separate incidents in the past where people went the wrong way on the freeway and died. “This could have been really, really bad, and I’m just glad it didn’t turn out that way,” Hutchins said. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com