Police: California man on crime spree stabs woman, steals car, strikes pedestrian

Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 13:14:52-04

LAKE FOREST, Calif. - Two people were left in critical condition Tuesday, and a man was taken into custody in Lake Forest on suspicion of several offenses including breaking into a woman's home and stabbing her, stealing a car and colliding with a pedestrian before crashing and attempting to break into several other cars, authorities said.

The crime spree started at around 5 p.m. when the unidentified suspect got into a physical altercation at a Salvation Army store, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.

The man then fled to an apartment complex and entered a home where he was confronted by the resident and fled again, this time into a residential neighborhood. He then entered a home by smashing through the back door, according to the news release.

Inside the home, he grabbed a knife and confronted a mother who was at home with her two daughters. She ran outside onto the street to lure him away from her teen girls and he chased after her, eventually catching her and stabbing her multiple times, the Sheriff's Department said.

While he was stabbing her, three good Samaritans driving by saw her bleeding on the sidewalk and stopped to help.

They told KTLA they thought the man leaning over the woman was trying to help her, but they soon realized he was stabbing her. When he saw them, he started chasing after them with the knife before getting into their white BMW and driving away.

The stabbing victim was transported to a hospital in critical condition, authorities said.

“He was just smiling the whole time like he was having a good time,” Daniel Alexander, told KTLA. Alexander had been in the BMW.

The suspect then drove erratically, sometimes going in the wrong direction, before he stuck a woman walking on the sidewalk and fled the scene, according to Lake Forest Police Services Lt. Chad Taylor.

The victim, a woman in her 50s, was also transported to a hospital in critical condition, the Sheriff's Department said.

The man then continued driving until he crashed into another vehicle, got out of the car and started running towards a trailer park, Taylor said.

There, he unsuccessfully attempted to break into a house and several other cars, according to police.

A passing cyclist pepper-sprayed him before officers arrived at the scene and took him into custody, the Sheriff's Department said.

It took officers a total of nine minutes from the time dispatch received calls to apprehend the man, according to the news release.

The suspect was hospitalized and was expected to later be booked into an Orange County jail on several charges including attempted murder, carjacking and felony hit-and-run, authorities said.

"We believe there is no further threat to the community," the Sheriff's Department said.

Authorities did not identify the suspect or the victims.