A 26-year-old man was found guilty Tuesday of intentionally running an Oceanside Police officer down with his car in June.
Roberto Ignacio Flores, 26, of San Marcos was charged with first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer, hit-and-run causing great bodily injury and assault against a peace officer.
Flores is facing 19 years to life, and his sentencing is set for November 30.
Oceanside Police Department Officer Brad Hunter, a 29-year veteran of the department, has no memory of the day he was struck by a vehicle on June 19, 2017. It happened while he was conducting a traffic stop at Foussat Road, just south of Oceanside Blvd.
Hunter survived the attack despite suffering a shattered leg and a severe head injury that left him in a medically-induced coma for days.
Police said Flores was behind the wheel of the silver Dodge Neon that struck motorcycle officer Hunter.
In a recent hearing, Michael Patton, the driver who witnessed the attack while he was receiving a traffic citation from Hunter, described the incident in court.
"I felt and heard the impact and looked up, to see the officer airborne and in front of my car," said Patton. "He landed on the ground, kind of curled up in a fetal position, and my gaze went to--oh my gosh who hit us--and saw the car speeding down the street."
Flores fled the scene but was arrested moments later.
While in jail, detectives posed as an inmate to question Flore during an undercover jail cell operation, known as Perkins Operation, said prosecutors. Flores admitted to intentionally striking the officer.
“The defendant says I was so close to the police officer, I could read his eyes," said Prosecutor Keith Watanabe. "He says the cop didn't expect what I was gonna do, and he says maybe he's on life support or something, and he begins laughing."
Flores' attorney said the comments made were to improve his standing among inmates.