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The People v. Anthony Flores

November 29, 2012


(Super. Ct. No. 10F05774)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Butz , Acting P. J.

P. v. Flores



California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Following a jury trial, defendant Anthony Flores was convicted of recklessly evading a peace officer (Veh. Code, § 2800.2, subd. (a)--count one),*fn1 evading a peace officer by driving against the flow of traffic (id., § 2800.4--count two), assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (c)--count three), and misdemeanor assault on a peace officer (Pen. Code, § 241, subd. (c)--count four). Defendant admitted prior strike and serious felony allegations (Pen. Code, §§ 667.5, subd. (b), 1170.12), and the trial court sentenced him to 16 years four months in state prison.

On appeal, defendant contends the trial court's instructions on sections 2800.2 and 2800.4 denied him due process of law, and the prospective application of California's 2011 Realignment Legislation (hereafter Realignment Act; Stats. 2011, ch. 15) violates his right to equal protection of the law. We shall affirm.


The Prosecution Case

On September 6, 2010, at about 10:00 a.m., California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Ehren Dreisbach was merging onto eastbound Highway 50 at Sunrise Boulevard when a Nissan Pathfinder driven by defendant sped by him at around 80 miles per hour (mph). Dreisbach, in full uniform and driving a marked patrol car, caught up as defendant exceeded 100 mph. Defendant swerved across the freeway and passed between vehicles until he reached the number four lane, behind a large rental truck. Dreisbach activated his lights and sirens. Within five seconds, defendant leaned out the window, simulated a gun with his left hand, and made a fist and an obscene gesture visible to Dreisbach.

Defendant cut across to the number one lane; at the last minute, he cut across traffic and exited the freeway on the Prairie City Road off-ramp. At the bottom of the off-ramp, defendant turned left from a right-turn-only lane, cutting in front of several cars. Officer Dreisbach continued the pursuit through the city of Folsom by heading north onto Prairie City Road. A Folsom police officer, in full uniform and driving a marked patrol car with lights and sirens activated, took over the lead in the pursuit through Folsom, where defendant reached speeds up to 105 mph.

Defendant drove 70 mph in a 40-mph zone, slowing to about 40 mph as he ran a red light at the intersection of Iron Point Road. He turned right on Blue Ravine Road at about 25 mph while going through a red light, and then reached 80 mph in a 45-mph zone. Defendant made an illegal left turn in the middle of the intersection at East Bidwell Street, cutting directly in front of the cars waiting in the left-hand turn lane at the red light.

Defendant could not maintain his speed on East Bidwell Street because of traffic stopped at a red light. Unable to pass, defendant slowed to less than 5 mph. When the vehicles moved out of the way in response to Officer Dreisbach's directive, defendant crossed the intersection against a red light. He then ran another red light at Wales Drive, crossing the intersection at about 60 mph. Defendant ran yet another red light and made a left turn onto Riley Street at about 25 mph. He then accelerated to 70 mph as he passed by Riley Park and the Folsom Aquatic Center.

Defendant continued down Riley Street, switching lanes and cutting off other vehicles. He turned onto Oak Avenue Parkway, driving 50 mph in a 25-mph zone. Defendant managed to stop at one intersection for a short time.

Defendant turned back onto East Bidwell Street, where he ran a red light. He momentarily tapped his brakes at the intersection, but then ran a red light at about 75 mph in a 45-mph zone. Defendant then drove onto westbound Highway 50, where CHP Officer Michael Sullivan took over as the lead, with CHP Officer Colby Hemm joining in a second vehicle. Both officers were in uniform and activated the lights and sirens on their marked patrol cars.

Defendant drove between 90 to 100 mph on Highway 50 as he swerved in and out of traffic and cut off multiple vehicles. He exited the freeway at the Power Inn Road/Howe Avenue off-ramp and drove around a spike strip. As defendant slowed at the bottom of the off-ramp, Officer Sullivan employed a "pursuit immobilization technique" (PIT) maneuver in an attempt to stall the vehicle. The maneuver failed; defendant's car spun over 360 degrees but did not stall out. Defendant mouthed an obscenity at the officer as his vehicle spun, and then continued driving south on Power Inn Road. Bouncing around inside the vehicle as if he was dancing, defendant held his hand out the window in the shape of a gun, and then made an obscene gesture at the officer.

Once on Power Inn Road, defendant, swerving in and out of traffic, drove in the opposing lane for a short distance. Officer Sullivan tried a second PIT maneuver after defendant drove into a residential area. The PIT maneuver failed to stop defendant, but broke the steering wheel in Sullivan's car.

After defendant's Pathfinder stopped spinning, he drove forward and hit CHP Officer Mike McGinity's patrol car. Defendant reversed the Pathfinder, and then drove directly at Officer Sullivan, who was standing in front of his disabled car. Sullivan drew his firearm and ordered defendant to stop. When defendant was 10 to 15 feet from Sullivan, who was about to pull the trigger, Officer Hemm and another CHP officer drove their patrol cars into the side of defendant's Pathfinder, pushing it away and boxing it in.

Officer Sullivan drew his Taser, approached the now disabled Pathfinder, and ordered defendant out of the vehicle. Defendant was laughing and still trying to accelerate his vehicle as he ignored Sullivan's order. Sullivan "Tasered" defendant, who stopped laughing, but said he could not get out of the Pathfinder. After getting Tasered a second time, defendant left the ...

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