3-year sentence for man who rammed cop cars in North Side pursuit

Gabriel Diaz-Soto | CPD

A man who injured five cops by ramming their squad cars during a 10-mile pursuit across the North Side in August 2018 has been sentenced to three years in prison, but his potential prison time will be offset completely by the time he spent in detention before pleading guilty.

Gabriel Diaz-Soto, now 30, was allegedly under the influence of an intoxicating substance when he struck a bicyclist near North Avenue and Clark Street around 12:45 p.m. on August 7, 2018.

When Diaz-Soto saw police behind him on northbound Lake Shore Drive near Fullerton, he slowed down and intentionally backed into a police car that was behind him, a CPD spokesman said at the time. Diaz-Soto continued northbound on Lake Shore Drive and crashed into another police vehicle just north of Addison Street, according to the spokesman.

Diaz-Soto’s car broke down after he allegedly collided with yet another police SUV at the intersection of Clark Street and Rosemont Avenue in Edgewater—more than 10 miles from the bicycle accident scene. Photojournalist Christopher Smith took photos at the scene, including this one:

Five police officers were treated at hospitals for injuries they received in the collisions, according to CPD. The bicyclist was treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for minor injuries.

A grand jury eventually returned 34 felony counts against Diaz-Soto. But prosecutors agreed to drop 29 of those charges after he pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated battery of a police officer.

Judge Catherine Haberkorn sentenced Diaz-Soto to five concurrent 3-year terms and gave him credit for 1,032 days of time considered served before entering his plea. Diaz-Soto will not serve any prison time after receiving the state’s standard 50% sentence reduction for good behavior.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com