California teenager arrested after crowd pounded and kicked a deputy's car

HIGHLAND, Calif. (AP) — A teenager was taken into custody after a crowd of young people swarmed a deputy's patrol car earlier this month, kicking and punching the vehicle before the deputy could drive away, a California sheriff's office said this week.

The 15-year-old male allegedly opened the driver's door of the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department vehicle and attempted “to overtake the deputy and his patrol unit,” at a Highland intersection, according to a statement released Thursday. The juvenile was arrested at his home in Menifee on suspicion of attempted carjacking and felony vandalism.

The deputy was able to close the door and drive away from the encounter shortly after midnight May 11. Video footage obtained by detectives shows an unruly crowd pounding on the deputy's window and kicking the vehicle, leaving its front windshield cracked.

About 100 people had gathered at the intersection for an illegal street takeover, and someone had opened a fire hydrant so vehicles could skid easier, the sheriff's office said in its statement.

Gloria Huerta, spokesperson for the department, said the deputy’s decision to drive away was likely the safest choice.

“These individuals are not afraid of law enforcement, and their behavior is very disturbing,” she said.

Highland is about 65 miles (88 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

The Associated Press