YOUNGSTOWN Officer assaulted during foot chase; man escapes

Officers learned the man's name by answering his camera cell phone.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A 20-year-old man on probation for burglary ran from a stolen car that contained an assault rifle and shotgun and later lunged at the cop who gave chase, reports show.
Warrants were issued Wednesday for Raymond Hammond of First Street charging him with assault, receiving stolen property (the car), being a felon in possession of a weapon and two counts of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. If arrested overnight he would be arraigned today in municipal court.
Police said Hammond's unidentified passenger also ran and remains at large.
Patrolmen Michael Cox and Richard Geraci spotted the stolen green Ford Taurus parked in the 2200 block of Selma Avenue around 1 a.m. Wednesday. The day before, the officers answered a call in the same location that involved a drive-by shooting. An occupied Chevrolet Blazer had been shot up and a neighbor's house was hit.
As Cox and Geraci approached the Taurus, the driver and passenger ran, despite commands to stay in the car. Geraci chased the passenger and lost sight of him.
Cox chased the driver, later identified as Hammond.
The chase
As Hammond tried to jump an 8-foot fence, a piece broke off and he fell, police said. Hammond then crouched down, dropped his shoulder and lunged at Cox in an attempt to tackle him, but the officer pushed Hammond away, who then escaped over a fence across the street, still in the 2200 block of Selma, reports show.
Aside from a loaded 9 mm assault rifle and loaded 12-gauge shotgun, police found 9 mm ammunition, a bag of marijuana and a camera cell phone. When the phone rang, Geraci answered it and the caller asked for Raymond Hammond. It rang several more times for Hammond, police said.
The officers recognized Hammond in pictures they found stored inside the camera phone. The police index operator downtown then produced Hammond's picture from the Law Enforcement Automated Data Service imaging system.
In December 2004, Hammond was sentenced in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for the burglary conviction. He was placed on three years' community control to be supervised by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority. The sentence included six months in jail.

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