Photo: Caltrans truck
A man was arrested in Irvine after allegedly carjacking a Caltrans truck, driving it to John Wayne Airport, and running into a police vehicle.
On July 16, 2020, a Caltrans worker reported that he was parked at the Boomer’s off Harvard and Michelson when the suspect, 31-year-old Erik Baumle, suddenly opened the passenger side door of the vehicle. The worker asked Baumle what he was doing. Without responding, “Baumle… threw his dog onto the passenger seat without provocation,” according to the release. “Not knowing if the dog was vicious and fearing [f]or his safety, the victim exited the truck.”
Baumle climbed into the truck and drove it out of the parking lot, going westbound on Michelson.
Another Caltrans worker who was parked next to the stolen truck witnessed the incident. The victim got into the witness’ truck, and they followed the stolen truck as they called 911. Irvine Police quickly found the stolen truck and began their pursuit.
The chase ended at John Wayne Airport, where the suspect attempted to enter the second floor of a parking garage near the departing terminals. “Due to the size of the truck, it collided with the top of the structure and was unable to continue forward. Baumle then intentionally reversed the truck into an IPD police vehicle, rendering it disabled,” according to the release.
After finally stopping, Baumle took another five minutes inside the truck before surrendering to police. He was placed under arrest for carjacking, theft of a vehicle, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Baumle was booked into Orange County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail but released on July 27th after posting bond.