San Marcos man accused of hitting motorcycle cop to stand trial

VISTA, Calif. -- A San Marcos man accused of running down a motorcycle officer with a car while the lawman was conducting a traffic stop near Buddy Todd Park in Oceanside was ordered Thursday to stand trial on a charge of premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer.

Roberto Ignacio Flores, 26, is charged in the attack on Oceanside police Officer Brad Hunter, a 29-year veteran of the department.

After a preliminary hearing at the Vista Courthouse, Judge Robert Kearney found that enough evidence was presented to order Flores to stand trial.

The defendant was arrested the night of June 19, shortly after he allegedly rammed Hunter with a silver Dodge Neon on Foussat Road, OPD spokesman Tom Bussey said.

“My next memory is waking up in what turns out to be the intensive care unit at the hospital," testified Hunter, who remains in a wheelchair.

The sedan hit Hunter about 10:30 a.m. as he was standing next to the driver's side of a pulled-over vehicle and then continued on to the south, according to investigators. Witnesses reported that the hit-and-run driver appeared to have steered the car into the victim on purpose.

“I certainly did hear a car accelerating before the collision happened. I described it like watching a horror movie in slow motion -- look up and see the officer airborne, land on the ground and not move," said Michael Patton, the driver pulled over by Hunter.

Flores kept going for several blocks before pulling to a stop in a traffic lane on Industry Street near El Camino Real, where he and a male passenger jumped out of the car and ran off, according to Bussey.

Officers found Flores a short time later at a nearby light-rail station and took him into custody.

A sheriff's deputy testified he was working undercover while in a holding cell with Flores and that Flores admitted he targeted Hunter and bragged about hurting him.

Good Samaritans aided the injured officer, who was conscious and alert following the crash, prior to the arrival of emergency personnel. Paramedics then airlifted him to a trauma center, where he underwent emergency surgery for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A Superior Court arraignment is scheduled July 20.

Flores faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted.