Westminster police early Tuesday morning arrested a man on suspicion of weapons and drug possession after the man tried to evade police before crashing his car into a patrol vehicle, then attempting to escape on foot.
Keen observation while on patrol prompted Cpl. Scott Gump and Officer Jason Stouffer at about 7:15 a.m. July 5 to approach a man and woman who were sitting in a vehicle parked in the 7300 block of Wyoming Street.
The woman was found to have a minor drug possession warrant, and Gump asked her to exit the vehicle while Stouffer talked with the man in the driver’s seat.
During the exchange, Stouffer noticed the buttstock of a rifle laying across the center console, so he asked the man to exit the vehicle.
Police said the suspect ignored the officer’s requests, and instead started his car. Officers deployed a TASER, which briefly stopped the suspect, but the man then threw his car into drive and hit the accelerator, nearly crashing into Stouffer.
The suspect plowed his vehicle into the driver’s side of Stouffer’s patrol car before climbing out the passenger window. The man tried to run, but the officer and corporal quickly arrested him.
A suspect who attempted to evade police crashed into a patrol cruiser. Photo courtesy Westminster PD.
The suspect then climbed out the passenger window and tried to run, but the officer and corporal quickly arrested him.
Gump and Stouffer searched the man’s car and found a 9 mm handgun stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console, a modified .22 caliber rifle and a replica 9 mm BB gun, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, police said.
The handgun, police learned, had been stolen during a vehicle burglary in Huntington Beach.
The corporal and officer also found more than seven grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Officer Jason Stouffer and Cpl. Scott Gump search a suspect’s vehicle after the man attempted to flee. Police recovered a handgun, modified rifle, replica BB gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Photo courtesy Westminster PD.
Angel Jesus Mena, 38, of Norwalk was arrested on suspicion of felon in possession of a firearm, loaded firearm in a vehicle, felon in possession of ammunition, drug possession and receiving stolen property.
“This was a volatile situation that could have had a tragic ending, so we are thankful that no one was injured,” said Sgt. Eddie Esqueda, spokesman for the Westminster PD.
Anyone with information on this crime or the suspect can contact the Westminster Police Department at 714-548-3212, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or online at www.occrimestoppers.org. Callers can remain anonymous.
Police recovered a 9 mm handgun stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console, a modified .22 caliber rifle and a replica 9 mm BB gun, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, during a suspicious vehicle investigation. Photo courtesy the Westminster PD.