A 27-year-old convicted felony with a gang past has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for dragging a witness about 40 yards with his SUV while trying to get away, according to court records obtained Tuesday.
Arturo Suarez of Santa Ana pleaded guilty in August to attempted murder, second-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and failing to stop at a hit-and-run collision with injury, all felonies.
Suarez admitted to sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury as well as two misdemeanor counts of driving without a valid license.
Suarez was given credit at his Friday sentencing for 625 days in jail awaiting trial.
In June 2018, Suarez stole a purse from an employee in a business at 2525 S. Yale St., according to Santa Ana Police Department Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
About a week later on June 18, 2018, the theft victim noticed the suspect in the business and confronted him, Bertagna said last year.
The purse theft victim attempted to block the suspect in with her car, but he drove around it in a 1999 Ford Explorer, Bertagna said, but another person attempted to stop him by standing in front of the vehicle, but he struck her and dragged her about 40 yards before stopping and reversing the vehicle to dislodge her.
The victim was hospitalized and needed skin grafts, Bertagna said.
Suarez pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery on April 26, 2018, for a crime he committed in January 2017. He was sentenced to 908 days in jail and placed on five years of formal probation, but was released because he had racked up that much time served in custody awaiting trial.
In May 2018, an arrest warrant was issued for Suarez because he failed to show for a residential drug treatment program and had “absconded supervision,” according to court records.
Suarez pleaded guilty in December 2012 to unlawful taking of a vehicle and participating in gang activity, both felonies. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Suarez pleaded guilty in September 2009 to being a convict in possession of a gun while on probation and was sentenced to two years in prison, according to court records. He also admitted a sentencing enhancement for gang activity.