Gardener accused of chasing ex-boss with chainsaw pleads not guilty

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A gardener accused of chasing his ex-boss with a chainsaw and trying to run over police with his truck pleaded not guilty to a number of charges on Thursday, including attempted murder. (KABC)

A gardener accused of chasing his ex-boss with a chainsaw and trying to run over police with his truck pleaded not guilty to a number of charges on Thursday, including attempted murder.

Jose Cortez, 44, is facing a number of charges, including attempted murder of a police officer, assault with a deadly weapon and property damage.

The scary scene was captured on video by bystanders.

Police say Cortez went after his former boss with a chainsaw on Tuesday at a Southern California Edison storage facility.

Cortez then got into a utility truck and attempted to flee the work yard. When he realized that officers had trapped him in, he backed up the truck toward officers, and that's when they opened fire, police said.

He continued to speed around the yard, eventually slamming into a pickup truck. Refusing to get out of the vehicle, Cortez appeared to throw something out of the car window. That's when police fired more shots.

Cortez, who was not hit by gunfire, was taken into custody.

There was a handful of family members and friends who came to court on Thursday. They did not want to speak on camera, but they said Cortez is a divorced father of five who has been feeling stressed recently due to personal matters.

Bail was set at $1 million. Cortez is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 12. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum of life in state prison.
Related Topics:
newsofficer-involved shootingshootingpolice shootingattempted murderassaultTorranceLos Angeles County
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