SANTA ANA, Calif. – A felon who had two of his prior felony convictions reduced to misdemeanors under Proposition 47 (Prop 47), which resulted in his release from custody, was charged today with shooting his firearm at police officers while leading them on a chase. Jimmy Hoang Truong, 28, Santa Ana, is charged with two felony counts of attempted murder on peace officers, two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm on peace officers, one felony count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one felony count of evading peace officers while driving recklessly, and sentencing enhancements for the use of a firearm. If convicted, Truong faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. He is being held without bail and is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of the Case
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2015, Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officers initiated a traffic stop near Euclid Street and McFadden Street on Truong, who was driving a sedan. Truong is accused of ignoring the traffic stop and leading officers on a pursuit. He is accused of driving for approximately two hours in and around the Santa Ana area. During the chase, Truong is accused of firing a gun at the pursuing SAPD officers, who were not struck by the bullets. SAPD never fired their weapons back at Truong.
At approximately 11:30 p.m., SAPD officers stopped Truong's vehicle with spike strips and used their vehicles to block in Truong. The defendant is accused of refusing to exit his car. The SAPD SWAT and the Hostage Negotiation Team responded to the scene. Truong is accused of refusing to cooperate and surrender for three hours.
At approximately 2:40 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2015, Truong is accused of exiting his vehicle and was then arrested by SAPD, who also investigated this case.
Truong's Orange County Criminal Background
On Sept. 20, 2012, Truong was convicted of a felony drug possession (Case #12WF2510), and again a year later, on Sept. 25, 2013, Truong was convicted of felony drug possession (Case #13WF2395).
On Dec. 2, 2014, Truong had both of his felony convictions reduced to misdemeanors under Prop 47, and he was not placed on parole, probation, or post-release community supervision. Five months later, on April 3, 2015, Truong was arrested for carrying a switch blade knife on his person. Three days later, on April 6, 2015, he was arrested again for being in possession of a controlled substance.
On May 26, 2015, Truong was charged with a misdemeanor count of carrying a switch blade knife on his person (Case #15WM06095).
On June 1, 2015, he was charged with two misdemeanor counts, including possession of controlled substance paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance (Case #15WM06283).
On Nov. 4, 2014, the voters of California adopted Prop 47, a referendum which reduced the status of certain property and drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Prop 47, referred to as The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, stated the law would reduce prison overcrowding and would allow leftover funds due to the measure be used on school truancy, dropout prevention, victim services, mental health and drug abuse treatment, and other programs designed to keep offenders out of custody.
On Jan. 20, 2015, during his State of Public Safety in Orange County address, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told the audience, “[We] are working together to carefully navigate the litigation that is coming up in the Proposition 47 cases so that only the defendants who are eligible will get the benefit of the law. Unfortunately, many dangerous felons will be let back into the community early, and I fear that this law will result in the increase of crime.”
It is projected that in 2015 there will be 51,997 filing requests for misdemeanor crimes, which is 12,520 more than in the previous year and an increase of 31.7 percent. It is also projected that in 2015 there will be 12,133 filing requests for felony crimes, which is 6,524 less filing requests than in the previous year and a 35 percent decrease. It is projected that in 2015 there will be 64,189 filing requests for felony and misdemeanor crimes combined, which is 6,055 more than in the previous year, resulting in an overall increase of 10.4 percent.
“Mr. Truong's actions endangered the community and our officers,” said Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas. “Our officers did an outstanding job in bringing this incident to a successful conclusion with the surrender and arrest of Mr. Truong. However, it is concerning that while he is facing numerous felony charges, his possession of the stolen handgun that he used to shoot at our officers is likely a misdemeanor, in accordance with Proposition 47, due its value being under $950.”
“The Santa Ana Police Department should be commended for resolving this extremely dangerous situation without a civilian or police officer getting shot,” said District Attorney Rackauckas.
Assistant District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 15CF2521 / November 09, 2015
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