SAN BERNARDINO – Two toy guns were found by police after a SWAT standoff ended a carjacking that started with a suspect’s threats.
An area around Highland and Del Rosa avenues was evacuated by police early Tuesday night when they spotted two carjacking suspects in a stolen Honda Accord. A short chase, that reached speeds up to 100-miles an hour, ended when the driver crashed the stolen car on Highland Ave.
Lt. Rich Lawhead, spokesman for San Bernardino Police, said the driver, Leslie Eugene Johnson, 34, of Yucaipa, lost control of the car while swerving around “to lose the officers.” The passenger, Dustin Robert Woertink, 22, of San Bernardino, was arrested at gunpoint, while Johnson ran away from the wreck, barricading himself in a garage in the 2200 block of Cedar Street. Lawhead said Johnson told officers he had a gun, threatening to shoot officers. Police evacuated nearby homes, sealing off the neighborhood until the SWAT team could arrive.
Shortly after 9 p.m., SWAT team members shot tear gas into the garage, leading to Johnson’s surrender. He was arrested on charges of carjacking, evading police, threatening police officers and resisting arrest. No gun was found, but the suspect was armed with a knife. The Honda Accord had been reported stolen one day earlier, said Lawhead.
Woertink suffered moderate injuries from the crash, in which the Honda Accord bounced off the street curb. No officers were injured during the siege, said Lawhead.
The car had been stolen in the Devore section of San Bernardino, which is the northern point of the city. The suspect and his description had been dispatched to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, said Lawhead.
Highland Community News: Carjacking, felony evading alleged