Ventura County – Perhaps the pride of celebrating America’s independence from the shackles of The British Empire under King George distorted the judgment of Ruben Cendejas Estrada, a 42-year-old Fillmore resident as night fell on July 4th when he got behind the wheel of his car as night fell.
Or perhaps it was the anticipation of engaging in backyard fireworks displays in the incorporated City of Fillmore, one of the few Southern California municipalities where the sale of 4th of July pyrotechnics remains legal. Whatever his reasoning (or lack thereof), according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. J. Hendren, Estrada was the alleged subject of multiple 911 Emergency calls placed by citizens reporting “a male driving a red truck up and down the street challenging people to fight.”
With deputies enroute to the reported Fillmore residential area, witnesses reportedly observed Estrada alight from his vehicle to become involved in a physical confrontation with local area neighbors. As deputies rolled onto the scene, Estrada returned to his truck in an apparent attempt to depart. But as a deputy tried to remove him from the vehicle, “Estrada shifted the truck into drive and accelerated forward,” Hendren reported.
At that point, things went from stupid to bad to really bad, as Estrada’s truck shoved the arresting deputy against a patrol car and then onto the hood of the black-and-white, whereupon Estrada drove off, eventually colliding with a parked vehicle, exiting his truck, and then running off through the neighborhood on foot.
Estrada was subsequently contacted at his nearby residence, arrested and transported to Ventura County Jail where he was booked on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run, and driving under the influence.