LAKE FOREST (CBSLA.com) — A man accused of forcing entry into a Lake Forest home where he was fought off by residents has been charged with burglary and assault with a deadly weapon.
Detectives initially identified 57-year-old Jerrel Joseph Gower as a person of interest in the crime, which occurred around midnight Wednesday on the 20900 block of Parkside.
He is now wanted on a $50,000 arrest warrant and was officially classified a fugitive after prosecutors filed charges against him Thursday.
Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino told City News Service Gower is charged with first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury. All of the charges are felonies.
Gower is also charged with assault and battery, both misdemeanors, according to court records.
Amormino said the suspect faces sentencing enhancement allegations of inflicting great bodily harm.
Neighbors told KCAL9 they heard yelling before and after the couple and their two adult children were attacked.
The suspect was reportedly demanding to be let in the home, had mentioned a doctor’s name and said his niece had been the victim of a crime.
The family says he told them to call police as he shouted his name, and said he used to work for Homeland Security.
The 59-year-old female victim began to open the door, according to police, at which point the suspect allegedly forced his way in.
The woman said her husband, son and daughter struggled with the intruder who eventually ran away.
Two family members, including the older female victim, had to be treated for injuries.
“I have a broken toe and multiple bruises and damage to my back,” the victim, identified only as Marilyn, said.
Gower, of Mission Viejo, is known to frequent libraries and train stops, according to authorities.
Police say he also has warrant out for his arrest for narcotics.
Officials believe the attack was random. They do not have a motive.
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