CORONA (CBSLA) – A Corona-area man who authorities say chased down and rammed into a car carrying six teen boys who had been playing “doorbell ditch” – killing three of them – has been charged with murder.

Anurag Chandra is arrested in a hit-and-run which killed three teen boys and left another three boys injured on Jan. 19, 2019, in the Temescal Valley, south of Corona. (RVC News)

Anurag Chandra, 42, was charged with three counts each of murder and attempted murder, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. He also faces a special circumstances allegation of multiple murders.

On the night of Sunday, Jan. 19, prosecutors report that the six boys were having a sleepover in the Temescal Valley, just south of Corona, when one of them was dared to “ding-dong-ditch” a nearby house.

The boys rang the doorbell of Chandra’s home on Modjeska Summit Road and then sped away in a Toyota Prius.

(From left to right) Undated photos of Drake Ruiz, Daniel Hawkins and Jacob Ivascu. (Family photos)

Chandra jumped in his 2019 Infiniti Q50 and gave chase, prosecutors allege. About a half-mile into the chase, as the two cars were approaching Squaw Mountain Road – near Temescal Canyon Road – he rammed into their car.

“It’s just beyond what someone’s reaction should be to someone ringing your doorbell and running away,” DA’s office spokesman John Hall said Thursday.

The impact sent the Prius slamming into a tree, killing three of the boys – 16-year-olds Daniel Hawkins, Jacob Ivascu and Drake Ruiz. The other three boys – 13-year-olds Joshua Hawkins and Joshua Ivascu, along with 18-year-old Sergio Campusano – were injured, but survived.

Anurag Chandra following his arrest. (CHP)

Campusano was behind the wheel of the Prius at the time, the DA’s office said.

Chandra fled after the collision, California Highway Patrol reports. He was arrested at his home by CHP officers early Monday morning, about four hours after the wreck.

RELATED: ‘It’s The Worst Nightmare:’ Community In Shock After 3 Teens Killed In Crash Near Corona

Court records indicated that Chandra has previously faced misdemeanor domestic violence charges, including spousal abuse and willful injury to a child.

He made his initial court appearance this afternoon before Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Gunn, who appointed him a public defender and
scheduled his arraignment for Feb. 21 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Hall said the DA’s office may eventually seek the death penalty against Chandra.

Comments (18)
  1. Susan says:

    I hope they put this guy on suicide watch

  2. The boys played games with the wrong man. Sad… This guy needs to be send away. Wish the young men could have been more discerning. Anger, the “need” for revenge, not allowing someone to be stupid, escalation of emotions; all dangerous. “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” Proverbs 16:32.

    1. Shaniqua Jackson says:

      You crazy, dawg,

      Proverbs 69:69

  3. Elyse James says:

    Everyone involved is a POS. Too bad the teenagers didn’t have more productive outlets in their leisure time.

    1. Star P says:

      Not everyone involved is a POS.There is only one adult involved and the rest were teenagers. That hot tempered idiot of an adult chose to chase down and ram the teens car and ten left the scene!! Criminal, a**hole, needs to serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars. Those poor boys, such senseless deaths.

  4. Lani B says:

    The teenagers made bad choices. There were 6 teenagers packed in a car driven by an 18 year old. Some obviously weren’t belted since a 2002 Prius has only 4 seat belts. Sadly, these Christian parents have their head in sand. These boys were not angels, they were typical teens who need supervision. They should not have been driving around at 10pm looking for fun. The homeowner is a stupid, hothead who deserves prison, but he is not wholly to blame. They can partially thank themselves, their uncooked adolescent brains and their “look the other way” parents. This accident is tragic, but was likely preventable. Watch your teens, don’t send them out with a pack of other teens at night and teach them to buckle up. How many of the boys that were killed in this accident were buckled in and following their parents rules? Certainly, not all of them. After all, they are teen boys.

  5. Scott B says:

    Suicide watch !? I suggest you do the people a favor & lock him up with enough rope to hang himself.
    All boys play this when young. These boys were too old to still be doing this and with a get away car (?) raised the stakes. They paid heavily for their misjudgment. They found the phyco killer in the neighborhood. Maybe they knew that he would be so mad and that up the stakes and made it more appealing… only the survivors know. What a shame for these boys. They made poor choices.

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