BLACKHAWK — The Contra Costa Sheriff released body camera footage showing a sergeant firing four shots into a black sedan after the driver accelerated into two deputies, dragging one a short distance.
The video, exclusively released to this news organization through a public records request, shows Sgt. Jacob Bell firing four shots into the sedan as it speeds away after ramming Contra Costa Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Nygard and Danville police Officer Christopher Stark. The driver, 26-year-old Eduardo Carrillo, of Stockton, was arrested a short distance away.
Nygard suffered minor injuries from the collision; no one was struck by gunfire. In an interview with a sheriff’s investigator, Bell said he fired at Carrillo’s car because he believed Nygard was still being dragged.
“Sgt. Bell saw Officer Stark clear away from Carrillo’s vehicle but did not initially see Deputy Nygard, which led him to believe Deputy Nygard was trapped underneath the vehicle being dragged,” Dep. Ryan Nichols wrote in a police report summarizing Bell’s interview. Bell said once he realized Nygard was off to the side, he stopped firing.
Carrillo was initially charged with three counts of attempting to murder peace officers. Last July, he pleaded no contest to two counts of assaulting police with a vehicle and received three years in state prison. He is incarcerated in the California Institution for Men in Chino and will be eligible for parole in April.
According to court records, Carrillo drove into a gated community in Blackhawk and continued to a sheriff’s substation there. When police questioned what he was doing there, he identified himself as “Alex” and claimed to be a police officer reporting for duty. The deputies briefly detained him, then told him they knew he wasn’t a policeman and instructed him to leave the area.
The video shows Carrillo getting into his car and turning toward the parking lot; Bell said he turned off his body camera at that point because he thought the incident was over. But then Carrillo allegedly hit the gas. Video shows his car accelerating right at Bell, Nygard, and Stark, who were standing in the parking lot, talking.
Nygard is struck by the vehicle and dragged a short distance, then gets up and tries to chase after Carrillo’s car. Carrillo initially gets away, but a drone video shows multiple officers tackling and arresting him a short time later.
In a police interview, Carrillo described his interactions with the deputies as “not too bad” and said he was tired from drinking and using cocaine the night before. He requested a lawyer when asked why he drove his car at police, according to court records.
After Carrillo was arrested, another video shows Nygard being checked out by paramedics. He seems reluctant, saying he’d rather assist with the investigation, but a colleague insists.
“Are you all good?” one of the paramedics can be seen asking Nygard on the video.
“Yeah, he just took me down with the car,” he replies.