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SMPD seeks attempted murder of an officer charge after suspect allegedly drives car into officer

The Santa Maria Police Department is detailing the lengths it took to arrest a suspect accused of ramming his car into a police cruiser.

Santa Maria Police are calling this arrest unusual.
It happened back on October 19th.
The department says the suspect intentionally crashed his car into a police vehicle, severely injuring an officer.

Investigators tell KCOY 12 the suspect, 25-year-old Anthony Zuniga, had a warrant and was spotted. The suspect got away after leading officers on a chase.
The chase got so dangerous police called the pursuit off, but later found the suspect’s parked car.

“As they parked, the officer on the driver’s side was getting out of the car and all of a sudden the suspect’s vehicle accelerated directly at the driver’s side door and smashed into it as the officer was getting out. It caused significant damage to the car and injured the officer. Ultimately we had to call for an ambulance for the officer,” said SMPD Detective Paul Van Meel.

The suspect got away again after the crash.
Law enforce eventually caught Zuniga and his passenger.
They arrested him on an attempted murder of an officer charge.

The Santa Barbara DA’s office said, for now, they are not pursuing attempted murder.
Prosecutors add they could change that position as new evidence comes in.
Zuniga is being charged with felony assault on an officer, and reckless evading.
The passenger Jonathan Hayes is being charged with false impersonation.

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