A 30-year-old Chatsworth man was arrested Friday night in Santa Clarita after a dramatic string of crimes that involved a stabbing, an assault, a carjacking, a kidnapping, another auto theft, multiple car crashes and resisting arrest, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
Authorities said the chain of events started about 5:50 p.m. when Aaron Clay Tanner allegedly stabbed his mother multiple times and pushed her out of their car on the 14 Freeway at the interchange with the 5 Freeway, near Sylmar.
Tanner then drove north on the 14 and exited at Newhall Avenue in Newhall, authorities said. At the bottom of the off-ramp, he allegedly crashed into another vehicle in a park-and-ride lot. When deputies arrived at the scene minutes later, a woman told them that she had been assaulted and that her Chrysler PT Cruiser had been carjacked, with her 4-year-old son inside.
A deputy spotted the vehicle about four miles away, where it had crashed near Carl Boyer Drive and Golden Valley Road in Canyon Country. The suspect had rear-ended another vehicle and then backed into a tree, disabling the PT Cruiser, authorities said. The suspect and child were still inside.
As the deputy hurried to help the boy, the suspect got out of the car, circled around and stole the deputy's patrol car, the Sheriff's Department said. The deputy immediately alerted other patrol deputies and a sheriff's helicopter.
Near Newhall Ranch Road and Santa Clarita Parkway in Saugus, deputies saw the suspect speed to the end of a cul-de-sac and crash the patrol car head-on into a 4-foot block wall, go over an embankment and drop about 100 feet. The car rolled several times and came to rest at the bottom, where it caught fire, authorities said.
As deputies approached the burning car, they saw the suspect reaching for a shotgun that had become dislodged inside, the Sheriff's Department said. The deputies tussled with the suspect, eventually using a Taser to subdue him. The suspect bit several deputies on the legs and hands as they tried to handcuff him.
"Numerous people are being medically treated because of the suspect's outrageously violent actions," said Capt. Mike Parker. "A lot of cars were damaged, but more than anything else we are concerned about all the adults and child who were injured, and hope they all come out of this OK."
The child, who suffered minor injuries, was treated by doctors and released. His mother was being treated at a hospital for injuries to her face. They live in Palmdale.
The mother of the suspect had multiple stab wounds in her upper body, but preliminary reports were that none were life-threatening. She also lives in Chatsworth. All other victims are residents of Santa Clarita Valley. None were identified.
Tanner was hospitalized in serious condition. The Sheriff's Department said he would be booked on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, carjacking, attempted carjacking, auto theft, assault with a deadly weapon, evading arrest and felony hit-and-run with injuries. His bail was expected to be about $500,000.