Crime-Tape Tourniquet Saves Suspect

FULLERTON, Calif. -- A San Diego man arrested in the violent conclusion of a televised high-speed van chase severely slashed himself and stabbed a woman companion, police said Wednesday.

Michael Satterfield, 37, was in critical but stable condition at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood and investigators were at the hospital, police spokesman Sgt. Mike MacDonald said.

"Officers fashioned a tourniquet out of crime scene tape and tried to stop the bleeding until paramedics arrived," MacDonald said.

Because of his condition, Satterfield had not been formally booked, but he could eventually be held for investigation of burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, evasion and injuring a police dog, MacDonald said.

The chase Tuesday night ended with the van crashing into a tree after being bumped by a police car. The scene recorded by a TV news helicopter overhead was shadowy and sometimes obscured by overhanging trees.

Officers sent a dog to the van before two officers finally approached. One pointed a gun at the occupants as the other smashed the driver's window with a baton, then pulled the door open as another officer and the dog were at the van's rear.

That officer joined the officer at the driver's door and gestured repeatedly inside before they began to pull on the driver, forcing him out with a punch that brought him out and down, followed by the police dog. A quick series of punches followed during a struggle on the ground before another officer appeared to have the man handcuffed.

The man's actions during the approximately 15-second struggle cannot be clearly seen in the video.

MacDonald said the man was fighting and resisting efforts to handcuff him. He said the man was badly injured and bleeding profusely from self-inflicted wounds and officers "wanted to get him into custody and treatment as soon as possible."

The chase began after a shoplifter left a Target store in Fullerton around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday with a shopping cart full of electronic equipment, including a flat-screen television, MacDonald said. When a store guard confronted the man, he threatened her with a hammer and fled, MacDonald said.

Another man and a woman also had been in the store taking items but left and got into a van, which they drove around the parking lot while they waited for their companion, MacDonald alleged.

The shoplifter ran to the van but it drove away without him, MacDonald said. The shoplifter ran off and was being sought Wednesday.

Police later spotted the van, which sped from Fullerton to the cities of La Habra and then Norwalk, where a patrol car bumped it from behind, causing it to run off a road near Interstate 5.

As officers approached, the driver grabbed a long pipe that was inside the van and pointed it at officers, who first thought it was a rifle and ducked behind patrol cars before realizing it wasn't a gun, MacDonald said.

A police dog was then sent to grab the man through his open window but he hit the dog on the nose with the pipe and it retreated, MacDonald said. The man then rolled up the window, grabbed a "huge shard" of glass from a broken olive bottle and slashed his neck and arms, deeply cutting his left biceps, MacDonald said.

He also stabbed his woman passenger in the arm, MacDonald said. Officers thought he might seriously hurt or kill her and approached the van and broke the window, while the dog was sent in through the back and bit the man in the left shoulder, MacDonald said.

After pulling the man from the van and subduing him, officers used gauze and crime-scene tape as a tourniquet to try to staunch the man's wounds, MacDonald said.

The woman, Crystal Weber, 38, also of San Diego, was a parolee who was wanted in San Diego for grand theft and Fullerton police booked her for investigation of burglary, MacDonald said.

Weber remained in the Orange County jail on Wednesday, according to the Sheriff's Department's inmate information Web site. There was no telephone listing for her in San Diego. A representative of Satterfield could not be immediately located. A message left by The Associated Press at a telephone listing for an M. Satterfield in San Diego was not immediately returned.

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