A convicted felon who forced his girlfriend to drive away with him during a domestic squabble and held her in the car while leading Corona police on a multi-city pursuit through western Riverside County was sentenced Wednesday to nearly 11 years in state prison.
Miguel Angel Romero, 35, pleaded guilty to kidnapping, carjacking, felony evading, domestic violence, battery on an intimate partner, hit-and-run and resisting arrest.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Jackson certified the plea and imposed the court’s stipulated sentence, giving Romero six months credit for time served in county jail.
According to Corona police Sgt. Chad Fountain, the defendant and his girlfriend got into an argument at her residence in the 800 block of West Olive Street on the evening of May 2, and he grabbed the victim by her hair and pulled her into her car.
Witnesses immediately called 911 and told police that Romero had “threatened to use a gun” if anyone tried to intervene, Fountain said.
Officers swarmed the area and spotted the vehicle, with the defendant at the wheel and the victim in the front passenger seat.
“A traffic stop was initiated, but Romero refused to stop and led officers on a pursuit,” Fountain said earlier. “The pursuit reached speeds up to 120 mph and went from Corona to Lake Elsinore, to Norco, and ultimately ended back in Corona in the 800 block of La Cadena Lane, where the suspect attempted to flee.”
Fountain said Romero ran into the backyard of a home and tried to force his way inside but was confronted by officers. When he refused commands to surrender and started “reaching his right hand deep into his waistband,” a police canine was released to take him down, the sergeant said.
Romero was treated for minor injuries before being booked into jail.
The woman, whose name was not released, was found in the vehicle uninjured, according to Fountain.
No firearm was located in the car, or in the defendant’s possession.
According to court records, Romero has a felony conviction in another jurisdiction, but the offense was not specified.
He will have to serve a minimum of eight years behind bars before he’s eligible for parole.