NewsCovering Kern County


No charges filed against business owner involved in car chase, shooting

Posted at 6:49 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 21:49:57-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — On Wednesday, the Kern County District Attorney's Office told 23ABC News that the Bakersfield Police Department has not recommended charges against a business owner who pursued and shot at an alleged burglar.

The shooting took place just off the bike path along Truxtun Avenue near Mohawk Drive according to Bakersfield Police Department.

It all started around 6 a.m. when the owner of a business located in the area of 1400 Easton Drive reported two suspicious people outside of his business to the BPD.

"It was initially pending at Power and Performance, RP claimed this vehicle had was suspect vehicle for a prior 459 a purple PT Cruiser," BPD Dispatcher said during an original 9-1-1 call.

Radio traffic shows that initial call reportedly came from the Power Performance Air Conditioning company off of California Avenue and Easton Drive.

The business owner told police that the suspicious vehicle burglarized his business before and a confrontation later ensued.

"RP was parked next to him in a red Toyota Prius. Has now called back advised the subjects slammed their vehicle into RP's vehicle when he tried to stop them," BPD Dispatcher said.

The business owner who declined to go on camera told 23ABC this same story, that he tried to corner the alleged burglar in the parking lot with his own car, that he got out and seconds later the driver slammed into his car.

The business owner said he tried to get the suspicious drivers attention but the driver instead backed into him while he was on foot.

The business owner said that's when the driver took off and the business owner began chasing him in his car.

"They went on Mohawk and West Side Parkway westbound he advised he was speeding up to keep up with the vehicle," BPD Dispatcher said.

According to police, the car that the business owner was chasing drove into the Kern River and the business owner shot the driver.

The driver was later taken to the hospital in critical condition where he was expected to live.

As of Wednesday no charges have been filed with Kern County DA's Office.

Deputy District Attorney Joe Kinzle declined to comment on this case specifically, but said when citizens try to arrest people without trained law enforcement officials it can be tricky to determine the best course of action on your own.

"If the crime is a misdemeanor it has to occur in the presence of the person essentially making the arrest. That's not true for felonies but affecting an arrest of someone you can only use force that is reasonable," Deputy District Attorney Joe Kinzle said.

It's unknown at this time if reasonable force was used.

BPD told 23ABC that they are working with the Kern County District Attorney’s Office to determine the best course of action based on the evidence and information obtained.

Reasonable force would have to be determined in court if authorities ultimately decide to move forward with this case.

23ABC went to speak with the business owner Wednesday and he provided new details into what happened Monday night.