Prolific Felon Convicted of Attacking Lyft Driver in Anaheim

Prolific Felon Convicted of Attacking Lyft Driver in Anaheim

The Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif., on Oct. 22, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service
City News Service

1/3/2024

Updated: 1/11/2024

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SANTA ANA, Calif.—A 27-year-old convicted thief with a lengthy rap sheet has been convicted of sexually assaulting and robbing a Lyft driver in Anaheim more than a year ago, according to court records obtained Jan. 2.
Samuel Nicholas Rodriguez, who has a lengthy criminal record for car thefts, was convicted last Tuesday of misdemeanor assault with a sentencing enhancement for using a deadly weapon in the commission of a sex offense. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 23.
It’s unclear what potential sentence he may face. An Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokesman said he was checking with prosecutors.
Mr. Rodriguez was charged with a felony count of assault with the intent to commit a sex offense, but jurors found him guilty of a misdemeanor instead. The defendant was also convicted of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and dissuading a witness by force, all felonies. Jurors also found true sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
Mr. Rodriguez, who was a transient, called for a Lyft ride at about 7:15 a.m. Dec. 18, 2022, and was picked up by a woman in west Anaheim, according to Lt. Shane Carringer of the Anaheim Police Department. Mr. Rodriguez attacked the driver with a knife and attempted to sexually assault her during the ride, but she was able to get out of the vehicle and call for help, Mr. Carringer said.

Lengthy Criminal Record

He had been in custody from Dec. 2–13, 2022, according to jail records. Mr. Rodriguez pleaded guilty in August 2022 to theft with a prior felony conviction of driving or taking of a vehicle and misdemeanor petty theft.
Mr. Rodriguez pleaded guilty in April 2022 to a felony count of stealing a car with a prior felony conviction.
The defendant pleaded guilty in April 2021 to a felony count of buying or receiving a stolen vehicle or equipment with a prior felony conviction and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
He pleaded guilty to buying or receiving a stolen vehicle or equipment with a prior felony conviction and theft with a prior felony conviction of driving or taking of a vehicle, both felonies, and a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance in February 2021.
Mr. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to theft with a prior felony conviction and buying or receiving a stolen vehicle with a prior conviction, both felonies, and a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance in May 2019.
He pleaded guilty to felony car theft and misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without a valid license in May 2018. He also pleaded guilty to burglary and possession of personal identifying information and a controlled substance in March 2016.
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