POMONA, Ca. — Ahmed Shaaban made his way to pick up a load in an area of California he’d never been to before. Two firsts happened in his 7-year career as an owner-operator for Slingshot Trucking, on Tuesday, April 6. Oddly, his load was already picked up when he arrived, and he picked up an unexpected second load — aiding in the arrest of a murder suspect.
Shaaban was driving through the city, chatting with a friend on his headset, when he saw the police pursuit. Shaaban mentioned to his friend the police pursuit had about 50 police cars chasing a dark gray truck.
The friend, familiar with the area, told him it was a murder suspect.
“Hold on,” Shaaban told his friend. “I’m going to try something.”
Shaaban went in a few circles, driving around a gas station, in hopes of positioning his truck in front of the gray truck.
“I wanted to block the whole intersection so he can stop and get caught,” he said. “Then, I see him gunning his truck to his right to go around me. So, I’m like, ‘Hell no,’ and pull forward my truck. I hit him.”
Shaaban said his intention was for the suspect to stop as he blocked the chase at the intersection of Holt and San Antonio avenues. Identified as Michael Caleb Reed, 35, the suspect had led the police pursuit through four counties for two hours before he encountered Shaaban.
Reed is a suspect in the shooting of a 40-year-old man in Oildale, California, according to the Los Angeles Times. He is currently being held in Kern County Jail facing multiple charges of reckless evasion of a police officer, carjacking and violating parole.
The damage to Reed’s vehicle was significant, according to Shaaban. Both airbags popped out, and the hood of his truck was crushed.
“I hit him pretty hard,” Shaaban said.
The full extent of the damage to Shaaban’s truck is yet to be determined. While the damage does not seem to be significant, he said damage to the frame is a concern because it looks twisted.
Shaaban’s truck is dedicated to his mother, Yousria. His mother’s name and her birth year 1948 are both proudly displayed on the truck as a tribute.
“Either way, even if it’s a total loss on my truck, I’m going to keep it,” he said. “That truck means a lot to me.”
While waiting for the details regarding the coverage of the damage to his truck, Shaaban has set up a GoFundMe page.
“To the insurance, I’m just a number,” he said. “And if I’m intentionally doing it (causing the accident), they can say a lot of things, like I’m trying to get a truck, to get aid, whatever they can think … I’ve always owned my own business and I see how they work, so it’s a big concern for me, of course.”
His wife, Tracy Adler, created the GoFundMe page on Wednesday, April 7 with a goal of $65,000. The funds raised have since surpassed that, totaling $82,810 as of Friday, April 16.
Hannah Butler is a lover of interesting people, places, photos and the written word. Butler is a former community newspaper reporter and editor for Arkansas Tech University’s student newspaper. Butler is currently finishing up her undergraduate print journalism degree and hopes to pursue higher education. Her work has been featured in at least nine different publications.