Car thief who tried to run down cop sentenced

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ambulanceVISTA, Calif. — A man who stole his ex-girlfriend’s car in Escondido and drove in reverse toward an officer who confronted him, prompting the lawman to open fire, was sentenced Tuesday.

Michael Joshua Flores, 28, pleaded guilty in September to felony charges of assault on a peace officer and auto theft and misdemeanor counts of petty theft, DUI and violating a restraining order.  He was sentenced to four years in prison.

The defendant’s former girlfriend called police the night of Oct. 29, 2011, to report that he had taken her car without permission. She followed Flores to a strip mall in the 100 block of West El Norte Parkway and pointed out the stolen vehicle to a responding officer.

As the officer approached Flores, the defendant put the car in reverse and drove toward him, prompting the policeman to open fire, striking Flores several times, according to police.

Flores was treated at a hospital. The officer was uninjured.