Walter Mencken 10:17 a.m., Dec. 18
Felon used stolen truck to assault peace officer
A repeat-felon admitted using a stolen vehicle to assault a peace officer, in a plea deal signed last week.
Joe Emanuel Hernandez, 26, has already served two separate terms in prison, according to court documents. He was 20-years-old when first convicted of stolen vehicle, the prosecutor alleges seven prior felonies in all.
Hernandez’ most recent criminal activity was March 15, 2012. Before noon that day, a Sheriff’s deputy in Valley Center noticed a Dodge Ram pickup truck that was reported stolen in the parking lot at Harrah’s Rincon Casino. Deputy Joel Crouch reported the find to his superiors.
Detective Bill Anderson and Sergeant Bob Bishop reviewed that casino’s surveillance video and determined a likely suspect, then located him in the casino, according to a prosecutor. The two investigators followed Joe Hernandez when he left the casino and the suspect got into the stolen truck parked outside.
But when Det. Anderson identified himself, instead of surrendering, Hernandez started the truck and backed towards the sergeant who was standing behind it, according to statements in court files.
Sgt. Bishop reportedly yelled, “Don’t do it!” three times before he opened fire with a handgun. The driver’s side window of the truck was shattered, but Hernandez was not struck by any bullets.
Det. Anderson was reportedly dragged and injured by the passenger door when he tried to enter the moving vehicle, according to prosecutor Cal Logan. Eventually the truck became stuck in a dirt berm and some bushes.
Hernandez admitted two felonies in a plea deal, he “committed an assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and was in possession of a stolen truck knowingly.”
Joe Emanuel Hernandez, 26, expects to get 2 years and 8 months in prison when he is sentenced October 19, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.