Man Suspected of Dragging Victim with SUV Charged with Attempted Murder

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 25-year-old accused of dragging a witness about 40 yards with his SUV while trying to get away was charged today with attempted murder.

 Arturo Suarez of Santa Ana was also charged with second-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and failing to stop at a hit-and-run collision with injury, all felonies. He faces sentencing enhancements for attempted premeditated murder and inflicting great bodily injury as well as two misdemeanor counts of driving without a valid license.

 About a week ago, Suarez allegedly stole a purse from an employee in a business in the 2500 block of South Yale Street, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

 At about 11:15 a.m. Monday, the theft victim noticed the suspect in the business and confronted him, Bertagna said.

 The purse theft victim attempted to block the suspect in with her car, but he drove around it in a 1999 Ford Explorer, Bertagna said. Then another witness attempted to stop him by standing in front of the vehicle, but he struck her and dragged her about 40 yards before stopping and reversing the vehicle to dislodge her, Bertagna alleged.

 The victim remained hospitalized Thursday, and will need skin grafts, Bertagna said.

 Suarez also faces a prior case of possession of drugs in jail, according to court records.

 Suarez pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery April 26 and was sentenced to 908 days in jail and was placed on five years of formal probation. He was released immediately because he had racked up that much time served in custody awaiting trial.

 In May, an arrest warrant was issued for Suarez because he failed to show for a residential drug treatment program and had ``absconded supervision,” according to court records.

 The robbery occurred Jan. 28 of last year.

 He pleaded guilty in December 2012 to unlawful taking of a vehicle and participating in gang activity, both felonies. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

 He pleaded guilty in September 2009 to being a convict in possession of a gun while on probation and was sentenced to two years in prison, according to court records. He also admitted a sentencing enhancement for gang activity.

Photo: Getty Images

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