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Posted by Fay Arfa | Mar 01, 2018 | 0 Comments

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A third-striker parolee was charged today with aggravated assault on a peace officer and carjacking after initiating a pursuit and injuring the K9 that apprehended him.
Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
Antonio Padilla Jr., 37, Palm Desert Charged today with the following counts:


  • Aggravated assault on a peace officer
  • Carjacking
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Injuring a police animal
  • Evading while driving recklessly
  • Evading a peace officer and driving against traffic


  • (3) Hit and run with property damage

Prior Serious Felony Convictions

  • First degree robbery in 1998 in Orange County
  • Criminal threats in 2006 in Riverside
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm in 2007
  • Burglary in Riverside in 2011
  • Inflicting corporal injury in Riverside in 2017
120 years to life in state prison Arraignment

Date and time to be determined

Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Feb. 18, 2018, a Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) motorcycle patrol officer pulled Padilla over for speeding.
  • While the officer wrote the citation, Padilla is accused of starting his truck and accelerating toward the officer, who was able to leap out of the way.
  • On Feb. 26, 2018, GGPD detectives located Padilla in a vehicle Santa Ana and requested assistance from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD).
  • Padilla is accused of initiating a pursuit down surface streets, driving in excess of 60 miles per hour while running stop signs and traffic lights.
  • The defendant is accused of leading officers on a high-speed pursuit through Irvine, where he is further accused of fleeing his vehicle before carjacking and assaulting a young woman and her brother by dragging the victim out of her SUV.
  • Padilla is accused of crashing the stolen vehicle into a curb and fleeing on foot.
  • SAPD deployed K9 Puskas, who apprehended the defendant.
  • As Puskas held on to Padilla, the defendant is accused of striking the K9 repeatedly. Puskas retained control of the defendant until officers took him into custody.
  • Puskas was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. The K9 sustained severe injuries, including the loss of most of his upper and lower teeth, and is currently in recovery.

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos, Special Prosecutions Unit

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 18HF0329/ February 28, 2018

About the Author

Fay Arfa

Fay Arfa has the distinction of being Certified as a Specialist in two separate areas of law – Criminal Law as well as Appellate Law – by the California State Bar, Board of Specialization. The National Board of Trial Advocacy has also awarded her a board Certification in Criminal Trial Advocacy. ...


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