In a wild pursuit during which a 33-year-old parolee switched cars three times, carjacked a work truck on live TV, and smashed into multiple patrol cars, the suspect accused of being behind the wheel will face at least 25 charges.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office was leveling the charges against Johnny Anchondo, 33, of Moreno Valley, as the chase originally began with Fullerton police.
Anchondo will face:
- one felony count of carjacking
- one felony count of first-degree burglary
- eight felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon not a firearm on a peace officer
- one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm
- two felony counts of theft with a prior felony conviction of taking of a vehicle
- one felony count of evading a peace officer/reckless driving
- one felony count of resisting an executive officer
- three felony counts of vandalism with damage of $400 or more
- three misdemeanor counts of hit and run with property damage
- one misdemeanor counts of evading a peace officer and driving against traffic
- one misdemeanor count of brandishing a weapon
- one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance
- one misdemeanor count of possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.
He faces 54 years if convicted on all counts.
Anchondo was on parole — for carjacking and evading police — when he was accused of carjacking at least one victim and evading police Nov. 9.
On Nov. 9 around 5 p.m., a bizarre pursuit began in the Fullerton area. Anchondo was accused of driving a black sedan and failing to yield, when he pulled into a townhome community and ditched the car.
He was accused of then stealing a parked white van, and after smashing it into two cars and becoming stuck, he hopped out the window and climbed over the hood to run.
He ran into a Whittier neighborhood, and into a home.
He was accused of swiping the keys to a new work truck, and as the landscaper who just bought the truck tried to stop the suspect, he hopped in the truck that was locked in by a metal fence.
Andres Benitez was carjacked on live TV as thousands watched on the livestream.
In the middle of a dangerous police pursuit the individual stole a truck after breaking into a family’s home and grabbing the keys. Alex Rozier reports for the NBC4 News on Nov. 9, 2022.
Donations would later pour in for Benitez, whose GoFundMe raised more than $100,000.
The pursuit continued with the driver speeding the wrong way on narrow two-lane roads, running red lights at intersections and crashing into several cars.
The suspect also was accused of ramming several patrol officer’s SUVs.
The front driver’s side tire shredded off and the chase eventually came to an end at a Hacienda Heights gas station in a standoff. The suspect was seen reversing into an officer’s vehicle, but the truck was stuck.
Officers opened fire on the truck, and the suspect was finally taken into custody. Police say he was not injured.
“The victims in this case can rest assured that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will do everything in its power to hold this dangerous individual accountable for the dozens of crimes he committed across two different counties,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “It is only by the grace of God that an innocent person wasn’t seriously injured or killed by someone who was hell bent on doing whatever he could to try to escape, including stealing multiple vehicles and assaulting numerous law enforcement officers.”
Just when police thought a pursuit couldn’t get anymore dangerous, it did. A driver was desperately trying to get away from police and used three stolen cars including one he told from a family after breaking into their home. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News on Nov. 9, 2022.