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Man who stole San Diego patrol car, ran down officer gets 20 years in prison

Man who stole San Diego patrol car, ran down officer gets 20 years in prison
William Frank Bogard appears at his arraignment in San Diego Superior Court in January 2015. (Howard Lipin / San Diego Union-Tribune)

A man who stole a San Diego police patrol SUV and then used it to run down an officer was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years and four months in prison.

William Frank Bogard, 27, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and other charges in connection with the January 2015 incident that injured Officer Jeffrey Swett.

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Bogard also tried to strike Officer Brett Byler with the SUV, but the officer was able to avoid being hit.

San Diego Superior Court Judge David Rubin sentenced Bogard in keeping with the plea agreement and ordered him to pay more than $304,000 restitution to the city for Swett's medical treatment and for damage to two police vehicles.

Bogard previously had entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity but later withdrew it.

At a defense attorney's request, the judge recommended Bogard be screened for a higher level of psychiatric treatment while in prison.

According to police and prosecutors, the two officers went to a home in the Barrio Logan neighborhood on Jan. 13, 2015 after residents reported a man outside was acting strangely.

Police were told that the man, later identified as Bogard, was breaking in through a window and threatening to kill the residents, Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Runyon said at a previous court hearing.

Bogard jumped into Swett's empty patrol vehicle and drove it at both officers, who drew their guns. Swett was hit and knocked to the ground.

Byler fired four rounds, wounding Bogard in a leg. The SUV ran up a utility pole wire and got stuck with its front end in the air.

At the sentencing Tuesday, Bogard said, "I'm deeply, deeply sorry for the way I affected all of your lives, your families' lives." He said he had no explanation for what he had done but hoped his time in prison would help them heal.

"You have nothing to fear from me ever in life from this moment on," he said.

Outside the courtroom, Swett — a 26-year veteran of the police force who is back to full duty — acknowledged the defendant's apology and said he feels sorry for Bogard's family.

"I never take it personally," he said. "I just think he was looking to kill a police officer."

Littlefield writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune

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