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Deputy injured in head-on collision with felon

March 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A dashboard camera rolled as a driver plowed head-on into a deputy's patrol car. Investigators suspect it was no accident. They believe it was a deliberate hit.An Orange County deputy was injured when a driver apparently took aim and slammed into his patrol car. The deputy was able to get out and arrest the driver.

It really shows how dangerous it can be to be in law enforcement. The patrol car was waiting for a red light. The suspect was on the other side of the street, waiting to make a left-hand turn. But instead of turning left, the suspect drove straight at the deputy's car.

Video taken from the dashboard camera of an Orange County Sheriff's Department patrol car at 10 a.m. Sunday shows a deputy stopped at a red light. The suspect signals to turn left, but instead accelerates forward. In a second, he rams head-on into the deputy's car.

"His intent was to kill a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff's Department," said department spokesman Jim Amormino.

The deputy can be heard in the video moaning in pain. Authorities say he suffered neck and back injuries. He struggled to get out of his mangled car.

The 25-year-old suspect, identified as David Reyes, stepped out of his car and put his hands in the air. Authorities allege the suspect said in Spanish, "I'm wanted, I'm wanted," and then lay down on the ground.

"He does have a violent past, he is a deported felon," said Amormino. "His prior charges were robbery, street terrorism and possession of firearms."

The deputy struggles to get over to Reyes, almost losing his balance at times. He's able to handcuff him as other police show up.

"It's really sad it happened, seems like he just wanted to go back to jail," said Santa Ana resident Navdeep Bassi.

"Investigators are checking to see if he's under influence of drugs or narcotics," said Amormino. "His motive is still unknown at this time but his intentions were to kill the deputy."

In 2002 the suspect pleaded guilty to a number of charges, including street terrorism and robbery. He served a couple of years in jail and was then deported to Mexico.

Reyes somehow made it back onto the streets here Santa Ana. If convicted of this new charge, attempted murder of a police officer, it would be his third strike.

As for the deputy, he is a 12-year veteran of the Orange County Sherriff's Department. He will be off for weeks after suffering neck and back injuries in the crash.