A 19-year-old Sacramento County man has been sent to state prison for five years and four months in a case in which he tried to run over a Roseville policeman with his car in 2009.
Walter Carrillo received the sentence Friday from Placer County Superior Court Judge Mark S. Curry, who presided over a jury trial that concluded Jan. 26 with the defendant being convicted of felony assault on a peace officer and multiple other charges, including hit-and-run driving causing injury because he repeatedly rammed a woman’s car in his escape attempt from the officers.
Carrillo fled from undercover officers after they closed in on him in a drug bust. The defendant was 17 at the time of the crimes but was prosecuted as an adult because of the seriousness of the offenses.
In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Curry called Carrillo’s conduct ‘outrageous.’ ‘The use of a car as a deadly weapon is no less dangerous than a gun or a knife,’ Curry said. ‘It’s a two-ton machine that can maim or kill.’
The incident occurred March 6, 2009, when Carrillo drove his vehicle to a parking lot at Main Street and Foothills Boulevard in Roseville to make a drug deal. When police cars moved in on him, Carrillo drove between two of the vehicles and nearly struck Officer Jeff Kool, who was on foot in the parking lot. Kool was forced to dive out of the way.
The officer, a nine-year veteran of the Roseville Police Department, spoke to the court at Friday’s sentencing and called the incident ‘the most dangerous experience in my career.’
‘It was a life-altering event that made me realize how quickly life can be gone,’ Kool said. ‘(Carrillo) was willing to run me over and then he slammed into (the female victim’s) car over and over. It’s very apparent he has no regard for the safety of others.’
Carrillo also spoke to the court, telling the judge that the incident had changed his life. The defendant said he graduated from high school after his arrest and enrolled at American River College this past November before his trial began.
He said he is now committed to working hard and leaving behind a past life of drugs and alcohol. He asked the judge to place him on probation ‘so that I can finish my education,’ which includes studying for a career in automotive work.
In the audience was a large contingent of Carrillo’s family and friends. An uncle spoke to the court, pointing out the positive character of his nephew and a strong family support group. The uncle accused the police of causing the 2009 incident to become dangerous.
However, Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Macumber, who prosecuted Carrillo, said the defendant has a history of involvement with drugs and gangs.
‘Where were his family members when he was getting involved with drugs and gangs?’ she asked as she urged Judge Curry to impose a prison term of seven years and eight months.
Curry absolved the police in the incident, saying, ‘I place the blame squarely on the defendant.’
In the end as he imposed the prison term of five years and four months, Curry said he took into consideration that Carrillo was 17 when he committed the crimes and that he had no previous criminal convictions. However, Carrillo’s driving privileges were revoked for life.
Among other charges of which the jury convicted Carrillo were vandalism, assault on the female driver, resisting arrest with force, possession of drugs for sale and of sales of drugs.