Hanford police found themselves early Saturday morning in a high-speed chase with a man they say they knew only too well – a convicted felon whose high-speed chase eight years ago badly injured one of their own officers.
Lennie Ignacio, 27, of Lemoore, was arrested again Saturday on suspicion of felony evading in a high-speed chase that began about 2:20 a.m. in Hanford and ended at the Lemoore Golf Course after Lemoore police laid down spike strips.
In an eight-year-old case that’s well-remembered by Hanford police, Ignacio was sentenced to prison for felony evading and DUI with injury involving multiple victims – including Hanford police officer Jeff Davis.
Last year, Ignacio was released on parole.
“He’s clearly a danger to the public and apparently hasn’t learned for himself a lesson,” said Hanford Police Chief Parker Sever.
Davis learned of the chase Saturday morning when a sergeant texted him a message:
“Guess who we got in a pursuit?” the message said. “Lennie Ignacio.”
Eight years ago, on Feb. 10, 2008, Ignacio ran from Selma police and drove to Hanford with his headlights off, officials said.
To this day, I have pain in my back.
Jeff Davis, Hanford police officer
Davis was driving a squad car, didn’t see Ignacio coming and was “T-boned” at a Hanford intersection.
“The impact was so great it tore my bulletproof vest and tore off my right Danner boot,” Davis said.
Davis was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno with two broken ribs in his back, an eye injury from going through the windshield – he admits he wasn’t wearing his seat belt – and other injuries.
“To this day, I have pain in my back,” Davis said. “It feel like I’ve been hit in the back by a hard ball thrown by Nolan Ryan.”
A woman in Ignacio’s car was also injured in the same incident and was reportedly paralyzed.
Ignacio was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Davis sued Ignacio for damages and won a $2.5 million judgment that remains unpaid, he said.
Ignacio now faces charges of felony evading, driving on a suspended license, parole violation and possession of concentrated cannabis.