ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
Case # 15CF1658
Date: July 28, 2015
*Firearm tossed from vehicle still not recovered
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A criminal street gang member was arraigned today on charges of driving recklessly to avoid peace officers and causing a crash that injured his passengers. Alberto Licona, 18, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of evading a peace officer and driving against traffic, one felony count of evading while driving recklessly and causing serious bodily injury or death, and sentencing enhancement allegations for criminal street gang activity. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison. Licona is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing, Aug. 5, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At the time of the crime, Licona is accused of being an active member of a criminal street gang.
At approximately 9:20 p.m. on July 26, 2015, Licona is accused of driving eastbound in a Nissan sedan on Highland Street in Santa Ana at 45 mph in a 25 mph speed limit zone with three passengers. Licona is accused of refusing to stop the vehicle and continuing to drive at a high rate of speed when officers from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) attempted to perform a traffic stop. SAPD then began a pursuit of the vehicle.
Licona is accused of driving recklessly through residential neighborhoods, including recklessly accelerating through turns and stop signs with the intent of evading SAPD officers. Licona is accused of possessing a firearm and throwing it out of one of the vehicle’s windows into an alleyway. The firearm has not yet been recovered.
The defendant is accused of driving westbound on McFadden Avenue, accelerating to approximately 60 mph, and crossing into the oncoming eastbound lane to avoid other vehicles. The defendant is accused of subsequently losing control of the vehicle and crashing into a wooden utility pole on Flower Street.
Paramedics from the Orange County Fire Authority arrived on the scene and transported the occupants of the vehicle to hospitals for treatment for injuries sustained in the crash, including facial lacerations, a fractured nose, and abrasions on the head, neck, leg, or hip. SAPD investigated this case and arrested the defendant.
Anyone who believes that they may have information that could lead to the recovery of the firearm is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Kory Degraffenreid at (714) 347-8521.
Deputy District Attorney Mena Guirguis of the TARGET Unit is prosecuting this case.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff