The Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office sent a letter to Costa Mesa's Police Chief last week clearing one of his cops in a shooting two summers ago. Few details are given into the July 5, 2012 incident where officer Dana Potts fired on and struck Vincent Leon. The 27-year-old, described as a "transient," currently faces multiple felonies stemming from that encounter.
As my colleague Matt Coker detailed at the time, Costa Mesa received a tracking signal on a stolen black Nissan pickup truck parked at the New Harbor Inn motel. Leon slammed the vehicle into the patrol car twice when it arrived. An unidentified policeman opened fire several times on the truck.
The OCDA report now names Dana Potts in the officer-involved shooting. A passenger in the truck surrendered. Leon fled on foot evading arrest. Authorities apprehended him eleven days later in Santa Ana.
An investigation letter with more details about the justified shooting is being withheld until Leon's criminal case closes. It was originally reported that he got booked on suspicion of attempted murder and outstanding warrants.
Court records now show Leon pleaded not guilty on February 26, 2014 to three felonies including assaulting a police officer with a weapon — the truck in this case.
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2