A man who allegedly shot at another man he was attempting to rob outside a Palm Springs apartment pleaded not guilty Monday to attempted murder, assault and robbery charges.
Steven Flores, 32, of Cathedral City, allegedly picked up the victim at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage on July 8, then robbed the man at gunpoint after giving him a ride to Palm Springs. He’s also accused in a second case of assaulting a Cathedral City officer who attempted to arrest him two weeks after the alleged shooting.
Flores and an unidentified woman allegedly met with the victim just after 5:30 a.m. at the casino. The man needed a ride back to his car, which he’d left at the Lowe’s parking lot in Palm Springs, according to an arrest warrant declaration.
Flores, accompanied by the woman, drove the victim back to an apartment in Palm Springs, rather than Lowe’s, sparking an argument in which Flores demanded a $20 payment for the ride, the declaration alleges. The woman then ordered the victim to “give me all the (expletive) cash,”‘ according to the document.
After the man exited the car, Flores allegedly grabbed a handgun from beneath the driver’s seat and fired one shot at the man, who was not struck, before speeding away.
About two weeks later, a Cathedral City police officer stopped Flores in a car that matched the description of the vehicle used in the Palm Springs shooting. After pulling over near Date Palm Drive and McCallum Way, Flores allegedly sped off while the officer was partially inside his vehicle, causing minor injuries to the officer, according to Cathedral City police Cmdr. Julio Luna.
Flores was arrested three days later in the 3000 block of Robert Road in Thousand Palms by the Coachella Valley Violent Crime Task Force, which turned him over to the Cathedral City Police Department, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Heredia.
Flores, who’s being held on $1 million bail, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and resisting arrest in that case.
He’s due back in court Oct. 19 for a felony settlement conference.