Man who hit motorcycle cop with his car sentenced to 29 years to life

VISTA, Calif. -- A motorist who intentionally ran down a motorcycle officer conducting a routine traffic stop in Oceanside was sentenced Thursday to 29 years to life in state prison.

Roberto Ignacio Flores, 26, was convicted last month of premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer in the June 19 assault on Oceanside police Officer Brad Hunter, a 29-year veteran of the department.

Flores also had a conviction for possession of an assault weapon.

Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said Hunter had stopped a car for an expired registration near Oceanside Boulevard and Foussat Road about 10:30 a.m. when Flores -- driving a Dodge Neon -- accelerated and veered directly into the motorcycle officer, scooping him up and flipping him over the defendant's car.

Flores sped away but was captured a few minutes later, Watanabe said.

Once in a jail cell, Flores told a sheriff's detective posing as an inmate and a confidential informant that he intended to hit Hunter and wasn't sorry about it, according to the prosecutor.

"He (Flores) said, `I got one. I got one,"' Watanabe said, referring to the defendant hitting a police officer.

Flores told the undercover officer and the confidential informant that prosecutors would have to prove the case in court.

"I might even get out (of jail)," Flores said in the cell.

Hunter suffered head injuries and his leg was broken in three places. The officer had to be placed in a coma until swelling on the brain subsided. Hunter testified he has no memory of the crash.