Courts & Law

Suspect faces 120 years in state prison

GARDEN GROVE Grove PD Motor Officer Kathy Anderson where, at the corner of Track Ave. and Tarft St. in Garden Grove, she was nearly run over by a driver she pulled over while giving him a ticket on Feb. 18. The next day the driver was spotted, resulting in a police pursuit and a carjacking before being taken down by a police k-9 in Irvine. (Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC)

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in the case of a man who led Garden Grove and Santa Ana police on a chase that ended in Irvine with his apprehension by a police dog that suffered serious injuries in the encounter.

Anthony Padilla, Jr., 37, of Palm Desert, a third-strike parolee, faces 120 years in prison after being convicted earlier of a variety of felonies and misdemeanors.

The string of incidents leading to his arrest began on Feb. 18, 2018 when a GGPD motorcycle officer stopped Padilla’s vehicle for a traffic violation at the intersection of Trask Avenue and Taft Street around 12:30 p.m. While the officer was writing up the ticket, the truck went into reverse, nearly hitting the officer, who narrowly escaped being run over when the truck raced away.


Officers learned that the driver — Padilla – was on parole and was being supervised by parole officers. He was also wanted for another parole violation.

For a week, GGPD detectives searched for him in Orange and Riverside counties. Undercover Garden Grove detectives found the truck, a 2016 GMC Sierra, in Santa Ana. They requested Santa Ana police in marked vehicles to make a traffic stop, but Padilla allegedly did not stop and a chase started.

A helicopter from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department joined the chase and the SAPD brought in a K-9 unit. During the flight, the truck was involved in several hit-and-run collisions and finally stopped – disabled – in Irvine.

At that point, Padilla allegedly carjacked a black Audi from a woman and the chase resumed until that vehicle was disabled near the intersection of Kelvin and Derian in Irvine.

According to police, Padilla tried to run away, but he couldn’t outrun the dog and was arrested. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment and later booked at Orange County Jail for “numerous felonies.”

The dog, Puskas, suffered extensive injuries in the incident, losing most of its teeth.



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