A Garden Grove man was sentenced to over 19 years in prison for leading Orange County authorities on a wild pursuit that involved him carjacking an Irvine woman and injuring a K-9, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday in a news release.
Antonio Padilla Jr., 38, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a police animal and felony evasion, authorities said.
Officers were trying to take Padilla into custody in Santa Ana on Feb. 26, 2018, a week after he tried to run over a Garden Grove Police Department officer who had pulled him over for speeding, the DA said. The officer jumped out of the way and was not hurt.
Padilla tried to flee police, and started driving more than 60 miles an hour on surface streets, running stop signs and traffic lights, authorities said.
When he reached Irvine, Padilla got out of his car and then dragged a 22-year-old woman out of her SUV and drove away in her vehicle, almost hitting her brother who tried to stop him, according to the news release.
Padilla then continued driving, hitting several other vehicles before ultimately crashing and trying to run away, according to police.
Sana Ana Police Department officers deployed a K-9 named Puskas, who took Padilla down.
Padilla started repeatedly hitting the dog until officers detained him.
Puskas suffered multiple injuries, including losing most his teeth. The dog underwent surgery and eventually recovered.
“Our K-9s are invaluable assets to our law enforcement family, and it is due to the training and dedication of Puskas and his human partners that a dangerous criminal is off the streets and behind bars,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said.
Our K-9s are invaluable assets to our law enforcement family, and it is due to the training and dedication of Puskas and his human partners that a dangerous criminal is off the streets and behind bars. https://t.co/BSTgAq9O07 Thank you @SantaAnaPD #K9Puskas pic.twitter.com/VcAS1fNrCC
— OCDA Todd Spitzer (@OCDAToddSpitzer) September 26, 2019