SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A 56-year-old man, accused of grabbing a 10-year-old boy and sniffing his arm, was sentenced to 32 months in prison Thursday after pleading guilty.
Victor Joseph Espinoza of Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to a false imprisonment charge. His rap sheet includes a conviction as a gang member.
In exchange for his guilty plea, charges of street terrorism and a sentencing enhancement for gang activity were dismissed.
The boy and his 19-year-old cousin were walking to the boy’s soccer practice on a bike trail by Delhi Park about 7:20 p.m., Oct. 4.
Espinoza first asked the youngster if he wanted to see the defendant’s gang tattoo, according to prosecutors.
The 425-pound suspect grabbed the boy and sniffed his arm, but the child managed to get loose.
His cousin shouted at Espinoza and the two then ran to the soccer field and told the boy’s coach what happened.
The coach caught up with Espinoza and tackled him, but he managed to get free, run away and hide behind a tree. Santa Ana police ultimately used a helicopter to flush him out.