SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – Authorities found a stash of weapons and ammunition in the home of a man who was arrested for throwing mortars at officers during Saturday night’s George Floyd protests in Santa Ana, as well as brandishing a handgun at protesters and later leading police on a chase.
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Jon Paul Worden, 32, of Santa Ana was taken into custody on assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of high capacity magazines.
Authorities raided his home and found four AR-15 rifles, one short barreled shotgun, three handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, bulletproof vests, several high-capacity magazines and over 600 pounds of illegal fireworks and mortars.
According to Santa Ana police, the investigation began Saturday night when Worden threw mortars at officers while they were forming a skirmish line in the area of Ross and 4th streets during the protests.
They then noticed a handgun on his hip, tucked under his shirt. Police said he then lifted the shirt to show the gun to other protesters.READ MORE: Fake Students Potentially Stealing Millions From Financial Aid
Not wanting to create an unsafe situation, officers waited until Worden left the area in a vehicle and then followed him and tried to pull him over. With his father in the passenger seat, Worden refused to stop and lead the officers on a pursuit. However, Worden’s erratic driving prompted officers to halt the chase, police said.
Instead, police were able to use his license place information to track him to his home in the 2600 block of West Standford Street. He was arrested while trying to sneak out the back, police said.
“This armed suspect with access to this cache of weapons and mortars, is what our officers have been dealing with from the aggressive and violent portion of protesters during this civil unrest,” Santa Ana Police Chief David Valentin said in a statement Tuesday. “Although the overwhelming majority of demonstrations have responsibly involved non-violent participants, armed suspects such as in this case, comprise the safety of everyone involved.”MORE NEWS: Dodgers' Justin Turner And Wife Renovate Boyle Heights Boys And Girls Club
During Saturday night’s protest which drew hundreds of people, several threw mortars, rocks and bottles at police. One Orange County Sheriff’s deputy was injured and had to be taken to a hospital.