SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged and arraigned yesterday for assaulting and attempting to murder a school police officer by gouging his eye and choking him. Enrique Martinez, 28, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of attempted murder on a peace officer, one felony count of attempted mayhem, one felony count of resisting an executive officer, one felony count of assault on a school police officer, one felony count of battery on a peace officer, one felony count of reckless driving while evading a peace officer, and one felony count of burglary. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. Martinez is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Oct. 13, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2016, Martinez is accused of approaching a Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) employee, who was sitting in a parked district vehicle outside an elementary school, and asking for the time. The defendant is accused of striking the passenger side window of the vehicle with a PVC pipe and walking away. Martinez is then accused of returning to the vehicle, striking at it again, and spitting on the vehicle.
A SAUSD Police Department (SAUSD PD) officer responded to the scene and commanded the defendant to drop his weapon. Martinez is accused of dropping the PVC pipe, fleeing in his vehicle, and failing to stop at a stop sign near a group of school children. The defendant is accused of parking in front of a stranger's residence, hopping over the fence, and entering the occupied home by kicking down the door. The defendant is then accused of exiting the home and running from the officer, who was waiting outside.
Martinez is accused of continuing to flee before turning and charging the officer and attempting to tackle him. The defendant is accused of attempting to choke the officer by wrapping his arms around the victim's neck and pulling the officer's face against his chest, restricting airflow to his nose and mouth. During the struggle, the officer began to break away from the defendant. Martinez is then accused of attempting to gouge the officer's eye out, temporarily blinding the victim. A plainclothes Santa Ana Police Department officer saw what was happening and assisted the injured officer in arresting Martinez at the scene. The officer was later taken to a hospital and treated for a corneal abrasion.
SAUSD PD investigated this case.
Deputy District Attorney Gautam Sood of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 16CF2553 / October 4, 2016