Verdict reached in trial of man accused of running down Oceanside police officer

Posted at 11:36 AM, Oct 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-01 02:29:29-04

VISTA, Calif. (CNS/KGTV) - A man was found guilty Tuesday of running down an Oceanside police motorcycle officer during a June traffic stop.

Roberto Ignacio Flores, 26, was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and premeditated attempted murder in the June 19 incident involving Oceanside police Officer Brad Hunter, a 29-year veteran of the department.

He faces 19 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on November 30.

In his opening statement last week, prosecutor Keith Watanabe said, "It was no accident. 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.