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Mariposa County Deputy Shot After Car Chase

yourcentralvalley.com / courtesy

A Mariposa County Sheriff's deputy is in the hospital after being shot by a suspect deputies say was driving erratically.

yourcentralvalley.com / courtesy

The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office says one of its deputies was shot this morning by a man they had been trying to pull over.

The sheriff's department says deputies first contacted Brian Ballasch of Merced at about 6 o'clock on Highway 49 because he was driving erratically. Ballasch fled.

Deputies say the man crashed his vehicle into patrol cars two miles south of town near the county fairgrounds, got out of his vehicle, had a short verbal exchange with deputies and then started shooting at them with a .45 caliber handgun.

One deputy -a ten-year veteran- was struck twice, once in the face and once in the torso. He is in a Modesto hospital in critical condition  The suspect was struck twice by deputy fire and is in stable condition.

The sheriff's department says Ballasch has a history of suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

He was arrested for attempted murder of a peace officer.

The California Highway Patrol is assisting the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office on scene.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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