By KELLY WHEELER
VISTA – A motorist intentionally ran down an Oceanside motorcycle officer who was conducting a routine traffic stop, then bragged about it to an undercover officer and a confidential informant after his arrest, a prosecutor told a jury on Wednesday.
Roberto Ignacio Flores, 26, is charged with premeditated attempted murder in the June 19 assault on Oceanside police Officer Brad Hunter, a 29-year veteran of the department.
“It was no accident,” prosecutor Keith Watanabe told a jury in his opening statement. “Roberto Flores ran down a police officer with his car.”
Hunter suffered head injuries and his leg was broken in three places.
The officer had to be placed in a coma until swelling on the brain subsided. Hunter testified he has no memory of the crash.
Watanabe said Hunter had stopped a motorist for an expired registration near Oceanside Boulevard and Foussat Road about 10:30 a.m. when Flores — driving a Dodge Neon — accelerated and veered directly into the motorcycle officer, scooping him up and flipping him over the defendant’s car.
Flores sped away but was captured a few minutes later, Watanabe said.
Once in a jail cell, Flores told a sheriff’s detective posing as an inmate and a confidential informant that he intended to hit Hunter and wasn’t sorry about it, according to the prosecutor.
“He (Flores) said, ‘I got one. I got one,’” Watanabe said, referring to the defendant hitting a police officer.
Flores told the undercover officer and the confidential informant that prosecutors would have to prove the case in court.
“I might even get out (of jail),” Flores said in the cell. “Snoop Dogg got away with murder.”
Deputy Public Defender John Wilschke urged jurors to keep an open mind in trying to determine whether Flores intentionally ran down Hunter.
At the end of the case, the jury should find the defendant not guilty of attempted murder, Wilschke said. Flores faces 19 years to life in prison if convicted.
— City News Service