A man broke into homes, stabbed a stranger on a sidewalk, carjacked a BMW, hit a woman and then crashed into traffic in a wild 9-minute rampage Tuesday in California, KCBS reported.
The crazed sequence of events began with a confrontation of some kind at a Salvation Army thrift shop in Lake Forest, south of Los Angeles, KABC reported.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department says a man involved in the dispute, which took place around 5 p.m. at the shop on Rockfield Boulevard, then broke into a nearby apartment, where a man and woman inside told him to leave, KNBC reported.
He ran across Rockfield Boulevard and hopped a fence in the backyard of a Danby Drive home, where he smashed through a window, police say, according to The Orange County Register.
The man climbed through the broken window into the house, bleeding heavily from a gash on his arm from the jagged glass, KABC reported.
A woman in her 40s ran outside to lead the man, who had grabbed a kitchen knife, away from two teenagers inside the house, The Orange County Register reported.
Police say the man stabbed the woman repeatedly after he gave chase and fell on top of her, according to KABC.
Three people in a passing white BMW convertible stopped to offer help, at first thinking the man was assisting the woman with a medical emergency, KTLA reported.
“The suspect turned on them, then starts chasing them,” said Carrie Braun with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, according to The Orange County Register.
The three passersby fled and the man drove off in the BMW, police say, KCBS reported. The woman was later hospitalized in critical condition.
“He was just smiling the whole time like he was having a good time,” said Daniel Alexander, one of the three passersby, KTLA reported.
Police say the man, described as being in his 30s, wove in and out of oncoming traffic before veering over a curb and striking a woman in her 50s on the sidewalk of Muirlands Boulevard, The Orange County Register reported. The woman suffered critical injuries.
He kept going before crashing into another vehicle on Aspan Street, “disabling the BMW,” police say, and then ran into a nearby mobile home park, KNBC reported.
The man tried to “break into a home“ but failed, then ran back into the street to try to stop vehicles so he could carjack them, KCBS reported.
A passing cyclist pepper-sprayed the man, who sat down on a sidewalk before police arrived, KABC reported. The sheriff’s department did not identify the man, who was hospitalized for his injuries.
The bizarre rampage lasted a total of 9 minutes from the time authorities were first alerted to the man’s arrest, KTLA reported.
“Multiple community members were able to help deputies stop this suspect,” said Braune, according to The Orange County Register. “We advise all residents to prioritize their safety, but deputies are thankful to all the people who notified authorities and attempted to help.”
She said that none of the victims, all of whom are expected to survive, had any connection to the man.