Paso Robles shootout began in trash container, report says

Injured suspect rolls into courtroom in wheelchair and pleads not guilty

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comNovember 2, 2012 

As a CHP officer searched for a motorist who’d led the patrolman on a high-speed chase in Paso Robles last weekend, the suspect popped out of a large trash bin and began shooting, according to an investigative report filed Friday.

The suspect, Clifford Albert Scott Jr., 22, of San Diego, appeared in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on Friday for his arraignment. He pleaded not guilty to several charges, including two counts of premeditated attempted murder.

According to a report filed by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, the following occurred last Saturday in downtown Paso Robles:

About 5:30 a.m., a CHP officer pulled over a 2010 Chevy Camaro that was weaving and speeding as it drove north on Highway 101. As the officer spoke to the female driver, the officer smelled marijuana in the Camaro. The officer asked the driver to exit the vehicle, which she did.

Two other CHP officers arrived, and one of them asked the front passenger, Scott, for his name.

Scott said his name was Eric, then quickly jumped behind the wheel and took off with a female passenger still in the back seat.

CHP Officer Adrian Ayala pursued Scott northbound on Highway 101, then northbound on Spring Street until Scott turned left onto 13th Street and crashed into a tree. Scott then exited the car and ran along Spring Street as Ayala chased him on foot.

Scott ran through the Boot Barn parking lot, then down an alley between 13th and 14th streets before going onto a rooftop, momentarily losing Ayala. Ayala returned to his vehicle and searched for

Scott, eventually parking in the alley near the Village Thrift store. After leaving his vehicle, he heard movement in a nearby trash container. When he told Scott to give up or get stunned, Scott replied, “OK! OK!” Then he jumped up from inside the container and began shooting at Ayala.

Ayala fired his Taser at Scott and began running down an alley. Scott jumped out of the container, firing at Ayala while moving toward him. At that point, Ayala drew his handgun and returned fire.

With Ayala now moving toward him, Scott continued to fire while attempting to flee, but he was hit several times. Scott fell to the ground before he was taken into custody.

Scott suffered numerous gunshot wounds, including one to his liver. Ayala was hit in the right forearm, left thumb and torso. Ayala was wearing a bulletproof vest, which authorities credited with protecting him from major wounds.

It was later determined that Scott was on parole in San Diego County for a 2009 conviction for carrying a loaded firearm in public.

During his initial court hearing Friday morning, Scott appeared in a wheelchair as seven CHP officers sat in the audience. Five sheriff’s deputies were also in the courtroom for security.

Other charges filed against Scott include felony evading police and carrying a concealed stolen gun, with enhancements for causing great bodily injury with a handgun and having a prior conviction for carrying a loaded firearm in a public place.

The 30-year-old Ayala, identified by the Sheriff’s Office, which conducted the investigation, is a six-year veteran of the CHP.

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