Ricardo Sanchez, 28, sentenced
SANTA BARBARA — District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced that on Monday, Ricardo Sanchez, 28, was sentenced to 19 years and four months in state prison by Judge Brian E. Hill of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
On Jan. 12, Mr. Sanchez pled guilty to the court to numerous felony counts and allegations, including assault with a deadly weapon (an automobile) on a peace officer, driving while under the influence of a controlled substance causing injury, evading peace officers in a motor vehicle with reckless disregard, fleeing the scene of a collision causing injury and possession of methamphetamine for sale.
The defendant also admitted to the enhancements of: personally inflicting great bodily injury, inflicting injury upon multiple victims while driving under the influence, having multiple prior DUI convictions and having a prior conviction for a previous serious/violent felony, as well as having a prior strike conviction. He also had prior convictions for evading police officers.
Therefore, the county District Attorney’s Office, as represented by Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Weichbrod, sought the maximum sentence on the charges, which was 28 years and four months in state prison.
The case stemmed from events on Jan. 17, 2019. Santa Barbara detectives attempted to apprehend Mr. Sanchez, who was on felony probation at the time, for an arrest warrant on multiple narcotics offenses. He got into his vehicle while officers attempted to detain him, but while officers with guns drawn yelled at the defendant to comply with orders, he backed into a police vehicle and drove directly at a uniformed female detective, who barely jumped out of the way.
Mr. Sanchez then led police on a high-speed chase through downtown Santa Barbara at speeds in excess of 45 miles per hour, bottoming out at several intersections, running stop signs and running a red light eastbound on Victoria Street through the intersection at Santa Barbara Street.
Mr. Sanchez’s car was then struck by another car while crossing the intersection. The defendant’s car was thrown onto the sidewalk and into a grandmother who was waiting with her young grandchild in a stroller for the light to change.
The grandmother suffered multiple fractures and contusions, and the 10-month-old infant suffered a broken rib, contusions and subdural bleeding. Mr. Sanchez fled the scene of the collision but was apprehended several blocks away hiding under a porch.
He was found to be in possession of bear spray, .22 caliber ammunition and 6.9 ounces of methamphetamine.
District Attorney Dudley said, “This case illustrates a series of horrific criminal choices made by the defendant that led to this terrifying and predictable violent conclusion. Still, due to the extraordinary care and knowledge of Santa Barbara’s emergency medical team and the medical treatment that followed, the victims have mostly recovered from their physical injuries.”
— Grayce McCormick