OCEANSIDE, Calif. - An Oceanside motorcycle cop is back at work, about seven months after he was run down and seriously injured while conducting a traffic stop near Buddy Todd Park.
“Being back to work feels great," said Officer Brad Hunter, a 29-year veteran of the Oceanside Police Department, who sustained a head injury and broke his leg in three places in the June 19 attack.
Doctors put him in an induced coma to reduce swelling in his brain, and Hunter later testified he has no memory of being struck.
“The fact I did have my helmet on – I’m 100 percent certain that saved my life. That helmet was given back to me and I have it proudly displayed on a shelf in my home -- as a reminder how valuable life is," said the 49-year-old Hunter.
Hunter is currently assigned to the department's traffic section, working light duty until medically released to return to full duty. But he believes he will be back on his department motorcycle soon.
“I love riding – I love this job. I’m ready," said Hunter.
San Marcos resident Roberto Ignacio Flores, 26, was convicted in October of premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer and subsequently sentenced to 29 years to life in prison.
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, he 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.