A convicted felon pleaded guilty Wednesday to assault on a peace officer for ramming a Riverside police car during a pursuit and was immediately sentenced to 10 years, eight months in state prison.
Danny Ray Shaffer, 47, of Riverside admitted the assault count, as well as felony evading, for the 2020 chase. In exchange for his admissions, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped a related felony allegation.
Superior Court Judge John Molloy certified the terms of the plea deal and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.
According to the Riverside Police Department, on the morning of Sept. 15, 2020, an officer attempted to stop Shaffer for a traffic violation in the area of Essex Street and Mountain View Avenue.
Shaffer sped away in the Chevrolet Silverado he was driving, “making several quick turns” with the officer in pursuit, according to a police statement. After traveling less than a mile, Shaffer abruptly stopped, investigators said.
“Just as the officer parked behind the truck and barely stepped out of his vehicle, (Shaffer) put the truck in reverse and intentionally backed into the police car, narrowly missing the officer,” the statement said.
“This caused the airbags to deploy and actually moved the police car back about eight feet, causing it to become disabled.”
The officer was able to jump out of the way, avoiding injury.
Shaffer fled the location, but dumped the pickup later that day, police said.
The ensuing joint investigation by Riverside police and Riverside County sheriff’s personnel led to Shaffer being identified and arrested without incident a week later in Jurupa Valley.
According to court records, Shaffer has multiple prior felony convictions, but they were not listed.