“He told me he wanted to provoke the police officer,” said Oceanside police officer Ivan Sanchez, who was called to a confrontation on the main drag of the beach town on February 2, 2018.
Officer Sanchez, who is fluent in Spanish, asked questions and translated for suspect Eliseo Cruz Flores, 29. “He voluntarily told me that he smoked marijuana in the hour before driving. He said he was under the influence. He said he is different under the effects of marijuana.” And suspect Flores said he stopped his car “inches away” from a police officer who was on bike patrol that day, according to the testimony of officer Sanchez in court today March 15, 2018.
A thirteen-year-veteran of the Oceanside police force, officer Duane Schott testified that he was in uniform and patrolling on bicycle with two other bike officers, about noon that day last month. The three bike cops encountered a transient in the road. “He was on Oceanside Boulevard, pushing a shopping cart and impeding traffic,” said officer Schott. The three bike officers stopped and contacted the transient near the intersection of Oceanside Boulevard and Coast Highway; there is a G&M gasoline station on that corner.
Officer Schott said that a green sedan began to exit the gasoline station, it turned towards the officers in the road, and the driver blew his car horn three times. “He was looking at me and my two partners and just smiling at us,” officer Schott recalled.
Schott said that Eliseo Cruz Flores was behind the wheel and was the sole occupant of the vehicle. And, “He produced something very small, it looked like a pipe, it was very thin and narrow.” One of the other bike officers told the driver “something about I don’t care about your marijuana and to wait a minute.” That was when officer Schott heard the vehicle’s engine revving, and then the green sedan accelerated and lurched toward him, but stopped short of striking his leg. “He did not just let his foot off the brake, you could hear the engine accelerate,” officer Schott said. The car came forward about ten to 13 feet, the officer estimated. Schott said he had eye contact with the driver while this happened. “He accelerated quickly, to me it was aggressive. I was seriously in disbelief of what just happened.” Officer Schott testified in court that one of his bike partners shouted, “If you hit my partner I will shoot you!”
Officer Ivan Sanchez arrived and translated for suspect Eliseo Cruz Flores, 29, and then assisted transporting him to Oceanside PD headquarters. At the station, officer Sanchez and officer Anthony Flores, no relation revealed, attempted to administer a “field sobriety test” to suspect Flores.
“He called officer Flores names,” recalled officer Sanchez in court. The suspect yelled and became uncooperative and stomped his foot and made a movement toward officer Flores; witness Sanchez said, “I believe that he was also trying to provoke us.”
When defendant Eliseo Cruz Flores was brought into court on March 15, he had benefit of a Spanish speaking interpreter. Superior Court judge Carlos Armour asked the interpreter the meaning of the phrase Chinga tu madre, which a witness claimed the defendant said to officers. The interpreter said it depended on the usage and it could be the slang equivalent of the English “go fuck yourself.”
Prosecutor Jack Wong presented results of a blood test which showed the defendant was positive for THC.
Judge Carlos Armour dismissed one misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. Flores pleads not guilty to one felony assault charge and one DUI, and will return to court on April 3 to set a date for trial, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse in Vista.