SAN BERNARDINO – Police shot and killed a man driving a stolen car, who was chased around the northern portion San Bernardino, and finally colliding with a law enforcement vehicle.
In trying elude police, Jonathan Larry Harden, 23, of Banning, tried to collide with officers’ cars on numerous occasions. Shots were fired, striking Harden down, after he collided with the front of an officers’ vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Harden was spotted in the stolen vehicle on Friday afternoon after the owner had reported to police that his car had a GPS device.The car, said Sgt. Carl Williams, was tracked to its location in San Bernardino at 1:43 p.m. When officers were notified of the location of the 2013 Scion XB, near Barton Street and Baseline Road, they spotted the vehicle traveling northbound on Barton.
Officers, said Williams, “activated their overhead lights and siren in attempt to stop the stolen vehicle.” But Harden accelerated in an effort to escape the officers, said Williams, and began their pursuit. The chase took place throughout the city and onto the 215 Freeway, “the suspect (driving) in a reckless manner,” said Williams, “endangering the safety of the public.” At times, he said, Harden reached speeds up to 100 miles per hour, “while paying no attention to traffic signals or the safety of other drivers on the roadway.”
At the University Avenue exit, just off the 215, he failed to stop for a red light, colliding with another car in the intersection. Harden drove back onto the 215 on the northbound side. Williams said officers tried several times to use legal intervention to stop Harden. At one point, the car was spun around, coming to a stop. As officers exited their vehicle to take him into custody, Harden was able to drive away.
On the final stop, a so-called pit maneuver, Harden collided with the front of an officer’s car, which spun him around to face in a southbound direction toward oncoming traffic. Shots were fired, killing Harden, the scene taking place on I-215 between the Palm Street and University Avenue exits. Traffic was shut down until nearly midnight while law enforcement continued their investigation.
“Several witnesses recorded the incident on cell phones,” said Williams. Police did not say if Harden had a weapon, nor if he had a criminal record.