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Petaluma police: Reward offered in search for officer assault suspect

A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of a man suspected of assaulting Petaluma police officers over the weekend, authorities said.

Police on Monday identified Steven Michael Perez, 33, as the man suspected of crashing a stolen car into two occupied police vehicles Sunday during a chase.

The Sonoma County Alliance Community Engagement and Safety Rewards Fund is offering the reward.

Lt. Nick McGowan described Perez as “a known transient in the area.” He was identified as the suspect based on footage from an officer’s body-worn camera.

The incident on Sunday began at about 12:30 p.m., when officers saw a man who they suspect was Perez loading up the trunk of a black Ford Crown Victoria that had been reported stolen in Petaluma earlier that day, police said.

When officers tried to detain Perez, he fought back and got away, police said.

One of the officers was thrown to the ground during the struggle. She had minor injuries, police said.

Perez then got in the stolen Ford and “intentionally rammed” two occupied police vehicles as officers attempted to box him in, police said in a news release.

Neither of the officers were injured, but both vehicles were damaged, according to police.

Police then chased Perez as he drove south along Hopper Street, but they lost sight of him, officials said.

Officers later found the stolen car, which had been driven into a chain-link fence and was inoperable, according to McGowan.

Petaluma Police are urging anyone with information about the case to call Detective Jake Gutierrez at 707-778-4532.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at matthew.pera@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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