SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — New video has been released in the case of a man locked in the backseat of a Garden Grove police car armed with a rifle.
Police say 33-year-old Stephen Matthews was living at the Morningside Recovery Center in Garden Grove when he had a psychotic episode Tuesday night.
Mental health workers responded and asked police for help until an ambulance arrived.
When they did, they say the suspect was acting so erratically he was eating grass and leaves. Officers put Matthews in the back of the police cruiser but say they had no idea what was about to unfold.
Dash cam video shows a man fumbling with an officer’s loaded AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Minutes later, an officer’s voice can be heard. On the radio, he says they are bringing in the airship. The suspect apparently thought he heard “airstrike,” and fired through the front windshield.
Matthews was not under arrest at the time of the incident. The officer who placed him in the back of the cruiser had no idea the spring on the Plexiglas screen that separates the officer from the suspect was broken.
Matthews got into the front, pressed the release button and refused to come out for two hours.
Matthews was reportedly on his way to get mental help before the incident.
Now, he is likely on his way to prison, facing multiple charges.