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Man who stole police car, drove it into officer sentenced to more than 20 years in prison

Posted at 11:25 AM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 21:28:31-05

SAN DIEGO - A man who got behind the wheel of a running San Diego police cruiser and drove directly at two officers -- striking and seriously injuring one of them -- was sentenced today to 20 years and four months in state prison.

William Frank Bogard, 27, pleaded guilty last month to attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and other charges.

Bogard told his victims that he had no good reason for acting the way he did.

"I'm deeply, deeply sorry for the way that I affected all of your lives," the defendant said. "You have no reason to fear anything from me ... I hope the time I serve heals the wounds, somewhat in your mind and your heart ... and I'm so sorry."

Bogard said he hopes his time in prison will help heal all wounds.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon said Bogard was acting in a "bizarre" fashion the night of Jan. 13, 2015, when he broke into a home on Main Street in Barrio Logan and threatened to kill the residents inside. One of the responding officers said Bogard looked at him "like I wasn't even there," according to the prosecutor.

After police arrived, Bogard emerged from an alcove, jumped into a running cruiser and drove at two officers at a speed estimated at 15-22 mph. He then drove the police car into an SDG&E guy-wire, partially suspending the vehicle vertically.

Officer Jeffrey Swett suffered a broken neck, broken leg, broken ribs and other injuries. The other officer -- who shot Bogard in the leg -- was not hurt.

Bogard was taken into custody after he was bitten by a police dog.

Outside court, Swett said he thought Bogard was out to kill a police officer that night. The officer said he doesn't take things like that personally.

"I'm thankful to be alive," Swett told reporters. "I'm thankful that justice was served."

In addition to attempted murder of a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon, Bogard pleaded guilty to burglary, vandalism, stealing a police car and resisting officers.

The defendant withdrew a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in order to plead guilty in the case.

Runyon told reporters after the sentencing, "Personally, I think it's a miracle. He likes being a patrol officer; it's what he loves to do. So to survive but to rehabilitate from injury to the point where you can go out and do this job, every day; he's a testament to courage and endurance. I think it's amazing!"