Perhaps in an effort to decrease inmate overcrowding, a Santa Ana police cruiser accelerated in a restaurant parking lot and ran over a fleeing suspect across the street from OC Weekly's world headquarters late Tuesday night.
Police officials tell reporters that they are conducting an investigation into themselves, specifically to determine why one of their own would run over a 19-year-old Latino criminal suspect in a busy Santa Ana Norm's restaurant parking lot.
A video that appears on CelebrityBabylon.com shows a Santa Ana police car rapidly accelerating through the lot and then slamming into a man next to a concrete wall. An officer then gets out of the car, walks to the crushed man and repeatedly asks, "Hey, are you, OK, buddy?" The injuried man said nothing and didn't move.
When police officers suspected that the collision might have been captured on film by a bystander they approached the cameraman and ordered him to stop filming. He refused.
Jose Candilla Guzman of Santa Ana, was transported to a local hospital. Later, police arrested the 5-foot-4 and 140 pound clerk on felony charges that he assaulted a police car, conspiracy to assault a police car, obstruction of a police car's path, violating the police car's civil rights, aggravated malice against police cars and impersonating a speed bump.
Seriously, he was charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly waving a pocket knife and a beer can while making threats at people on 17th Street in Santa Ana near OC Weekly and Norms.
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Court records show he remains locked in the Orange County Jail unable to pay a $25,000 bail fee.
The police cruiser was immediately retired, given an award and is expected to move to Idaho with a 150 percent pension.
All kidding aside, the Santa Ana PD is usually one of the most professional law enforcement organizations in the county.
But not long ago, a crusty veteran Westminster police officer shot a Vietnamese American driver after a minor Little Saigon fender bender, chased him at high speed, rammed the suspect--who was fleeing on foot--between his police cruiser and a tree and then left the car on the dying body for hours. The officer, who had a history of questionable conduct, escaped criminal charges. The district attorney's office said that California law gives cops wide latitude to use extreme force.