Now Reading
California Officer in Critical Condition After Being Dragged by Suspect Vehicle and Hit by Oncoming Car

California Officer in Critical Condition After Being Dragged by Suspect Vehicle and Hit by Oncoming Car

by Leah AnayaDecember 15, 2020

El Cajon, CA – An El Cajon police officer is in critical condition after being dragged during a car stop on Monday.

The unidentified officers responded to a call to investigate a parked, partially blocking vehicle on E. Washington Avenue at about 8:30 a.m. There were reportedly two people sleeping inside the black Volkswagen SUV in question.

Police woke the subjects up and one gave the officers an identification card that wasn’t his. While the officers investigated, the occupant started the vehicle and put it in gear. An officer attempted to detain the man.

El Cajon PD Lt. Randy Soulard said, “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.”

NBC7 reported that while the officer was being dragged, he was struck by an oncoming vehicle, at which point he let go of the SUV and was “launched.”

As of the time of this writing, the officer is listed in critical but stable condition. A press release from ECPD said his injuries were “significant.”

The SUV was found to be a rental vehicle out of San Diego. It was found crashed near the scene, but the occupants have fled. They have not yet been brought into custody.

One of the suspects, the driver, has been identified as 41-year-old David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan, according to police. Pangilinan is described as Guamanian, 5-foot-6, 200-pounds, with brown hair and eyes. The passenger is described as a Hispanic female in her late teens or early 20’s.

Anyone with information on the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call (619) 579-3311 or anonymously call (888) 580-8477.

NBC7 spoke to a local resident, who said, “To the person or persons who hit-and-run that officer, turn yourself in, dude. It’s not worth it. It’s Christmas time; that guy could be seriously injured. Give yourself up.”

About The Author
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya is a medically retired police officer. She served for three years at the Oakland Police Department, and just under five at a department in Washington State. Before that, she was an intelligence analyst in the US Army. She is now a stay at home mom living with her husband, who is still serving as a police officer, and their three children. She also grew up as the daughter of a police officer in California. Leah is now a writer and Deputy Editor at Law Enforcement News Network as well as the Business Manager for Washington State FOP. She's a peer support advocate for The Wounded Blue and Serve and Protect. You can find her on social media @leahmsanaya or at
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments