Update Jan. 11: El Cajon police announced the arrest of suspect David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan by the Los Angeles Rampart Narcotics Detail.
Update Dec. 18: The officer has been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Update Dec. 14, 2020 10 p.m.: The investigation by El Cajon Police has identified a suspect who is being sought for questioning: David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan, from Guam is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
By Miriam Raftery
December 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – An El Cajon Police officer is hospitalized in a trauma center in critical but stable condition due to serious injuries sustained at 8:30 a.m. during a traffic stop of a rented black Volkswagen SUV, CA license plate 8LC117.
The driver of the vehicle is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s or 40s with a shaved head and no facial hair. The passenger is described as a Hispanic female in her late teens or early 20s.
Officers responded to a call reporting a vehicle blocking the roadway in the 100 block of West Washington in El Cajon. They found the vehicle, with the driver and passenger asleep inside.
“When officers woke the occupants, the driver provided identification for someone other than himself and officers began to investigate. During this contact, the driver suddenly started the vehicle and began to put it into gear,” says Lt. Randy Soulard. “One of the officers attempted to detain the driver and keep him from fleeing the scene. In doing so, the officer was trapped in the vehicle and dragged for a distance as the driver fled.”
He adds, “As the driver fled with the officer still partially inside the vehicle, the officer was struck by another vehicle that was traveling in the roadway. The officer was ejected from the vehicle and sustained significant injuries.”
The suspect vehicle, a rental from San Diego, was found abandoned a short distance away and was recovered by police.The driver of the suspect vehicle continued to flee and at this time neither he nor his passenger have been located.
The El Cajon Police Department is asking for the community’s help in solving this crime. Anyone with information regarding this incident or the driver or passenger involved are encouraged to call the El Cajon Police Department at (619) 579-3311 or San Diego Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or on-line at SDCRIMESTOPPERS.ORG. You can remain anonymous.