[UPDATED with No Attempted Murder Charge:] Marcos Gonzalez Caught After Allegedly Using Car to Run Over Motorcycle Cop
UPDATE, NOV. 7, 2:15 P.M.: The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) announced today it is charging Marcos Gonzalez with one felony count of assault of a police officer with sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury and having a prior conviction for possession for sale of a controlled substance in 2007.
That could land the Fullerton 28-year-old in state prison for nine years with a conviction, but it could have been a much longer stretch had the Garden Grove Police Department got its way.
After a three-day manhunt, Gonzalez was arrested in Riverside County on suspicion of attempted murder for allegedly using his 2002 Infiniti Q35 to knock down and run over the leg of a Garden Grove motorcycle officer Wednesday morning.
Gonzalez was scheduled to be arraigned on the OCDA charges in court in Westminster this afternoon, when $250,000 bail was to be sought. An OCDA arraignment statement identifies the injured cop as "Officer Starnes." The department has as master officer in its traffic division named Charles Starnes.
According to the OCDA:
At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2011, Gonzalez is accused of being pulled over by Garden Grove Police Officer Starnes in a routine traffic stop. Officer Starnes approached the defendant's window and noticed an odor of marijuana from Gonzalez's vehicle during the contact. At the request of the officer, Gonzalez is accused of getting out of his vehicle.
While Officer Starnes called for back-up, Gonzalez is accused of rushing back into the driver's seat of his car. Officer Starnes attempted to stop the defendant by preventing him from getting into the vehicle, but was knocked down after being hit by the driver's side door.
Knowing that Officer Starnes was hanging outside the vehicle, Gonzalez is accused attempting to drive away and flee, dragging Officer Starnes several feet before the officer fell to the ground. Gonzalez is accused of then fleeing the scene.
The defendant was arrested three days later, on Nov. 5, 2011, by Garden Grove Police Department officers.
The extent of the injuries to Officer Starnes is unknown at this time.
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UPDATE, NOV. 4, 2:38 P.M.: 28-year-old Marcos Gonzalez, who remained on the lam since allegedly running over a Garden Grove police motorcycle officer Wednesday morning, was captured and arrested this morning, authorities announced.
Since the incident that hospitalized the cop, surveillance was set up on the Orange and Riverside County residences of friends and family members of the suspect out of Fullerton, according to a Garden Grove Police Department statement.
Gonzalez was spotted around 8:15 this morning riding in the passenger seat of a vehicle driving in the Riverside County city of Eastvale, according to the statement, which adds the vehicle was stopped and the suspect was arrested without incident. He was later booked into Orange County Jail on attempted murder charges.
The officer, who suffered no broken bones, is said to be improving from injuries that include bruises and abrasions.
Marcos Gonzalez allegedly fought with and ran over a motorcycle officer who pulled him over for wearing no seatbelt Wednesday. He is still at large.
Courtesy of Garden Grove Police Department
UPDATE, NOV. 3, 8:59 A.M.: Garden Grove police have released two headshots of Marcos Gonzalez, a 28-year-old who allegedly ran over a motorcycle cop after being pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt Wednesday morning.
Police are stumped over the wanted suspect's motives, as he has no criminal record and the green, 2002 Infiniti Q35 with tinted windows and no license plate he was driving does not appear to have been stolen.
ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 2, 2:40 P.M.: Garden Grove police are on the lookout for a motorist accused of being an attempted murderer for using his car to knock down and run over a motorcycle officer this morning. The unidentified cop is now listed in good condition at UCI Medical Center, according to Garden Grove Police Lt. Jeff Nightengale.
Marcos Gonzalez, a 28-year-old who was originally pulled over for not wearing his seatbelt, drove off in a green, 2002 Infiniti Q35 with tinted windows and no license plate, Nightengale said.
According to Nightengale:
Just after 9:30 a.m., the Infiniti was pulled over in the parking lot at 13321 Brookhurst St.. where the officer was able to get the driver's information and begin filling out a ticket. But as the cop was talking to the driver, he began acting so nervously that he was asked to step out of the vehicle.
The male cop performed a "pat down" search for any weapons before telling the driver to sit on the curb. As the officer radioed in for back-up, the driver began physically fighting with the cop, running to the back of his car and then diving into his driver's seat. The policeman tried to pull the man out through the still open driver's side door. That's when the driver backed his car up and knocked the cop to the ground before running over a portion of the lawman's body.
As the Infiniti left the scene, the officer was able to radio in that he was down and needed assistance. He also provided the suspect information and vehicle description.
Nightengale asks anyone with information about Gonzelez's whereabouts to contact the Garden Grove Police Department at 714.741.5704.
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