A Santa Barbara man was sentenced this week to nearly 20 years behind bars for a car chase two years ago that ended with a woman and her grandchild suffering serious injuries.
On Jan. 17, 2019, Santa Barbara police were trying to arrest Ricardo Sanchez on a warrant for multiple drug offenses when he got into his car, backed into a police vehicle, then drove directly toward an officer. The officer was able to jump out of the way before being hit.
Sanchez then led police on a chase through the streets of downtown Santa Barbara before running a red light at Victoria and Santa Barbara streets where his car was hit by another vehicle. The collision pushed Sanchez's vehicle onto the sidewalk where it struck a woman pushing her 10-month-old grandchild in a stroller. The woman suffered multiple fractures and the baby had a broken rib and subdural bleeding.
Sanchez reportedly ran off and was found hiding under a porch a few blocks away and arrested. Police said they found him to be in possession of bear spray, .22 caliber ammunition, and 6.9 ounces of methamphetamine.
In January of this year, Sanchez pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon (an automobile) on a peace officer, driving while under the influence of a controlled substance causing injury, evading peace officers in a motor vehicle with reckless disregard, fleeing the scene of a collision causing injury, and possession of methamphetamine for sale.
Authorities said Sanchez has had several prior convictions for evading police officers, along with multiple DUI convictions and a prior serious/violent felony conviction.
On Monday, a judge sentenced the 38-year-old to 19 years and 4 months in state prison.