Felon Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Police Officer
Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney
District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that yesterday Ricardo Sanchez, age 38, was sentenced to 19 years 4 months in state prison by Judge Brian E. Hill of the Santa Barbara Superior Court.
On January 12, 2021, the defendant pled guilty to the Court to numerous felony counts and allegations, including assault with a deadly weapon (an automobile) on a peace officer, driving while under the influence of a controlled substance causing injury, evading peace officers in a motor vehicle with reckless disregard, fleeing the scene of a collision causing injury, and possession of methamphetamine for sale.
Mr. Sanchez also admitted to the enhancements of: personally inflicting great bodily injury, inflicting injury upon multiple victims while driving under the influence, having multiple prior DUI convictions, and having a prior conviction for a previous serious/violent felony, as well as having a prior strike conviction.
Based on the defendant’s actions in this case as well as his serious and significant criminal history, including multiple prior convictions for evading police officers, The District Attorney’s Office, as represented by Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Weichbrod, sought the maximum sentence on the charges, which was 28 years 4 months in state prison.
The case stemmed from events on Thursday January 17, 2019, around 11:45am when Santa Barbara Detectives attempted to apprehend the defendant for an arrest warrant on multiple narcotics offenses. The defendant, who was on felony probation at the time, got into his vehicle while officers attempted to detain him. While officers with guns drawn yelled at the defendant to comply with orders, the defendant backed into a police vehicle and drove directly at a uniformed female detective who was narrowly able to jump out of the way of the vehicle. The defendant then led police officers on a high-speed chase through downtown Santa Barbara at speeds in excess of 45mph, putting many civilians in harms way. Additionally, the defendant bottomed out at several intersections, ran stop signs, and eventually ran a red light eastbound on Victoria Street through the intersection at Santa Barbara Street. Tragically, the defendant’s vehicle was struck by another vehicle while crossing the intersection and was thrown onto the sidewalk and into a grandmother who was waiting with her young grandchild in a stroller for the light to change. This grandmother suffered multiple fractures and contusions while the 10 month-old infant suffered a broken rib, contusions, and subdural bleeding. At this point, the defendant fled the scene of the collision but was apprehended several blocks away hiding under a porch.
The defendant was then found to be in possession of bear spray, .22 caliber ammunition and 6.9 ounces of methamphetamine.
District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley stated, “This case illustrates a series of horrific criminal choices made by the defendant that led to this terrifying and predictable violent conclusion. Still, due to the extraordinary care and knowledge of Santa Barbara’s emergency medical team and the medical treatment that followed, the victims have mostly recovered from their physical injuries.”
- January 17, 2019: Felon Arrested After Causing Traffic Collision