Man under surveillance for drugs arrested after crashing car, running from police

Rene Martinez, 19, faces various charges; police officer injured

SAN ANTONIO – Neighbors said they were not surprised to see a man running from police after an undercover drug bust turned violent.

An officer was hurt early Tuesday on the city's West Side when Rene Martinez, 19, rammed a police cruiser, police said.

Police said it didn't take long to catch Martinez after he ran from detectives and officers of the Street Crimes Unit after crashing his car on San Anita Street.

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A 26-year-old woman who lives in the neighborhood watched them go right past her.

"We saw a gentleman, like running, like running for his life," she said. "And then, not far behind him, were regular-clothed people. We didn't know that they were police officers or whatnot."

Police said around 10:30 p.m. Monday, undercover detectives were conducting surveillance on Ruiz Street near North Colorado Street.

Officers had information that Martinez was in possession of drugs and a stolen gun, police said.

As the suspect walked to his car, a marked police cruiser pulled up.

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Martinez rammed the cruiser before driving off and hitting a patrolman, police said. The injured patrolman was taken to Downtown Baptist Hospital to get checked out.

The suspect drove west on Ruiz for about three blocks before turning left on San Anita and crashing into a telephone pole, police said.

Martinez was arrested. Police said they found an AR-15 assault weapon and heroin in his car.

The unidentified neighbor said incidents like this happen daily.

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"Exhibit A, lack of common sense, who in the world would do that?" she said. "Just you know, 'fess up, you're guilty, you're going to get caught. Why do you want to add additional charges?

"Sometimes it makes me happy to see someone running at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, because I know that eventually we're going to see a police officer out here, so that gives us police visibility."

Martinez was charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant, evading arrest and possession with intent to deliver.

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