Police Chase Suspect Into Backyard Hot Tub

A 29-year-old Anaheim man was arrested after Placentia police chased him into an Anaheim neighborhood and then discovered him hiding in a hot tub in the backyard of a residence.

The incident began around 5:00 a.m. when police attempted to pull over an individual in a Mustang. However, the driver ignored the officers’ instructions to pull over. At some point, a passenger in the Mustang jumped out and was detained by the officers, as the Mustang continued driving southbound on Kramer Boulevard and onto the westbound 91 freeway.

The Mustang eventually crashed near the State College Boulevard onramp, and the driver of the Mustang jumped out and ran across the lanes of the 91 freeway and into a residential area in Anaheim.

Several police agencies, including Anaheim, La Habra and Placentia, officers searched the neighborhood backyards and found the suspect hiding in a hot tub, which was covered, in one of the backyards in the 1400 block of Rosewood Street and arrested him.

A search of the Mustang, revealed a loaded sawed-off shotgun, drug paraphernalia and stolen property. The passenger, who had jumped out of the vehicle and was detained, had drugs in his possession and was booked into custody on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, possession of stolen property and possessing a dangerous weapon.

The 29-year-old driver of the Mustang was booked on suspicion of felony evading, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of stolen property and possessing drug paraphernalia.

As serious as all of this sounds, it is possible that these men may ultimately be charged with misdemeanors.

First, possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia are both misdemeanors. And although the driver was arrested for felony evading, the District Attorney may charge him with misdemeanor evading.

To be charged with felony evading, the driver has to have: 1) Evaded a police officer in a motor vehicle which, in this situation he did; and 2) He has to have driven with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. At this point, we don’t know that this is in fact what happened.

So, after a review of the video of the chase, assuming there is a video, it may help to determine whether he will be charged with felony or misdemeanor evading. If he is charged with felony evading, his attorney may be able to argue that his driving was not reckless and therefore should be reduced to a misdemeanor. In the report, it does say that the suspect “crashed” near an onramp. But, it may be that he simply stopped and decided to run. So from a defensive standpoint, this needs to be looked at carefully.

Regarding the felony possession of a sawed off shotgun, this is the initial report only. It will have to be determined that the weapon is in fact a sawed off shotgun, which is a felony. There are very specific weapons possession charges that are misdemeanors so an attorney will need to look closely at this as well.

So although this makes for entertaining reporting in the news, a good criminal defense attorney will look closely to determine that the correct charges are filed.

If you would like to know more about misdemeanor drug possession charges, evading a police officer or misdemeanor and felony gun charges, contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William Weinberg at 949-474-8008 or at