Visalia Man Arrested for Attempted Carjacking, Golfers Stop his Attempted Flee
VISALIA – The Visalia Police Department arrested a man who tried to steal a car with a woman still inside of it on Thursday. After the man’s plans were thwarted, a group of golfers were able to stop him and hold him until officers arrived.
The incident happened around 5:45 p.m. outside of the Double D Market, located at 1500 W. Houston Ave. in Visalia. The driver, 22-year-old Frankie Rivas, went inside the store while his girlfriend waited for him in the passenger seat, authorities said.
The next thing Rivas knew, his girlfriend was screaming from the car. Apparently a man had gotten into the driver’s seat and began backing out of the parking lot, despite the fact that the woman was still in the car.
The girlfriend managed to jump out of the car. Rivas ran out of the store to try to stop the man. He was able to get in a punch, but the suspect, who has been identified as 56-year-old Stephen Weaver, gunned the engine hard, causing the car to do a half circle and crash into the mini mart.
The driver took off in the damaged car, which now had two flat tires. A nearby driver let Rivas and his girlfriend into his car and they followed the suspect. Weaver eventually stopped on West Goshen Avenue across the street from the Visalia Country Club.
Weaver got out of the car and ran onto the Visalia Country Club golf course. However, some golfers on the course saw him and were able to stop him and hold him until authorities arrived, police said.
Weaver was arrested on charges of carjacking, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Tulare County Jail with bail set at $110,000.
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