A UC San Diego graduate student working in the Folger’s Theoretical Physics Lab has been accused of shooting a California Highway Patrol officer on April 27. The San Diego District Attorney has filed charges against Yuhao Du for attempted murder of an officer, assault of an officer, taking an officer’s firearm, and inflicting bodily harm.
According to authorities, Du attacked the officer abruptly after being stopped and assisted by the officer after he had crashed into the center divide on Interstate 8 in Mission Valley. It was stated that Du suddenly lunged toward Officer Tony Pacheco’s firearm, attempting to gain control, and then fired the weapon into Pacheco’s right thigh.
Good samaritans on the freeway passing by Pacheco and Du jumped out of their vehicles to assist Pacheco and collectively detained Du with Pacheco’s handcuffs until he was correctly identified. The events that took place were caught on video via cell phone.
Du was previously convicted of a misdemeanor in 2018 in National City for disturbing the peace; he is currently in custody with no bail until the next arraignment.
One of Du’s lawyers, Anna Demidchik, stated to the San Diego Union-Tribune that “there’s no video whatsoever showing what took place immediately before and what exactly unfolded.”
The arraignment was scheduled to take place on Tuesday May 3 but has been postponed to Tuesday May 10 due to his lawyers wishing to do more research to gain more knowledge and information on the case.
The UCSD Guardian will provide more updates on the case as they come.
Photo Courtesy of K.C. Alfred for The San Diego Union-Tribune