Case # 18HF0329

Date: February 28, 2018

THIRD-STRIKER PAROLEE CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ON PEACE OFFICER AND CARJACKING AFTER INITIATING PURSUIT AND INJURING POLICE K9 THAT APPREHENDED HIM

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A third-striker parolee was charged today with aggravated assault on a peace officer and carjacking after initiating a pursuit and injuring the K9 that apprehended him.

Defendant

Charges

Maximum Sentence

Court Date

Antonio Padilla Jr., 37, Palm Desert

Charged today with the following counts:

Felony

  • Aggravated assault on a peace officer
  • Carjacking
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Injuring a police animal
  • Evading while driving recklessly
  • Evading a peace officer and driving against traffic

Misdemeanor

  • (3) Hit and run with property damage

Prior Serious Felony Convictions

  • First degree robbery in 1998 in Orange County
  • Criminal threats in 2006 in Riverside
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm in 2007
  • Burglary in Riverside in 2011
  • Inflicting corporal injury in Riverside in 2017

120 years to life in state prison

Arraignment

March 6, 2018, time to be determined

Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Feb. 18, 2018, a Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) motorcycle patrol officer pulled Padilla over for speeding.
  • While the officer wrote the citation, Padilla is accused of starting his truck and accelerating toward the officer, who was able to leap out of the way.
  • On Feb. 26, 2018, GGPD detectives located Padilla in a vehicle Santa Ana and requested assistance from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD).
  • Padilla is accused of initiating a pursuit down surface streets, driving in excess of 60 miles per hour while running stop signs and traffic lights.
  • The defendant is accused of leading officers on a high-speed pursuit through Irvine, where he is further accused of fleeing his vehicle before carjacking and assaulting a young woman and her brother by dragging the victim out of her SUV.
  • Padilla is accused of crashing the stolen vehicle into a curb and fleeing on foot.
  • SAPD deployed K9 Puskas, who apprehended the defendant.
  • As Puskas held on to Padilla, the defendant is accused of striking the K9 repeatedly. Puskas retained control of the defendant until officers took him into custody.
  • Puskas was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. The K9 sustained severe injuries, including the loss of most of his upper and lower teeth, and is currently in recovery.

Photo of Puskas: Santa Ana Police Department

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos, Special Prosecutions Unit

 



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