Orange County News

Driver hits officer at John Wayne Airport on purpose, officials say

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Investigators allege a woman intentionally hit an Orange County sheriff's special officer on bike patrol at John Wayne Airport Tuesday night.

"The vehicle backed up and positioned itself in front of the sheriff's special officer, then accelerated and drove toward him and hit him," said Lt. Jeff Hallock with the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "This was a deliberate act."

Authorities say the officer was originally called to the area to investigate a crash, allegedly caused by 48-year-old Rebecca McLaughlin when she drove her Toyota Sequoia through the gate of a parking structure around 10:30 p.m.

The driver knocked down safety pylons and was headed the wrong way when she crashed through the gate.

Authorities suspect McLaughlin then put her vehicle in reverse and accelerated into the officer. He hit the hood, but was able to struggle to his feet. He then arrested her.

Court records show McLaughlin pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in 2009. In this case, authorities say it does not appear drugs or alcohol were involved. Her motive is still not clear.

Investigators say the officer suffered only minor injuries. McLaughlin was booked for attempted murder.

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arrest, airport news, orange county news, eileen frere
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