Police: Bystanders use shopping carts to prevent suspected carjacker from leaving scene in Santa Rosa
Bystanders helped detain a man in a Santa Rosa parking lot late Tuesday who witnesses said stabbed a man, chased another, threatened customers and attempted to steal two vehicles.
Officers with the Santa Rosa Police Department arrived about 7:55 p.m. to the parking lot of a shopping center at the corner of Rogers Way and Fourth Street to find the man getting out of a vehicle, which was surrounded by at least five shoppers, Santa Rosa police Lt. Chris Mahurin said Wednesday.
Witnesses told police the man had approached a Chevy Suburban parked in the south end of the lot and brandished a large kitchen knife at a woman sitting inside.
He told the victim to get out of the vehicle or he would “kill her,” police said.
The woman held the car door shut as the man attempted to get inside, police said.
When he couldn’t force his way inside, he used his knife to puncture the car’s tire before he walked away. The woman then called 911.
The man went across the parking lot to the front of Safeway where police said he then confronted several customers.
In an altercation with a man near an ATM at the store’s entrance, the suspect stabbed the man in his upper arm, before running away, police said.
He then chased a man in his 70s before a bystander stepped into his path. The man then hopped into the man’s Honda Civic, Mahurin said.
At least two customers then used a shopping cart to “ram” the door of the Honda to prevent the man from getting out. Other bystanders helped to keep the suspect in the vehicle until police arrived.
The man who was stabbed was later treated by medical personnel at the scene and released.
Officers discovered a 6-inch knife on the ground near the man.
The suspect, later identified as Elijah Beck, 40, a homeless man based in Santa Rosa, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, carjacking, making criminal threats, vandalism and abuse of an elder, for chasing the man in his early 70s.
Beck was booked into the Sonoma County jail and held in lieu of $500,000 bail. He remained custody as of Wednesday afternoon.
Police later found Beck had been arrested earlier that morning by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of trespassing and released from custody a few hours later with a citation to appear in court at a later date.
Anyone with additional information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the Santa Rosa Police Department.
You can reach Staff Writer Madison Smalstig at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @madi.smals.
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