Courts & Law

Mental health hearing in carjack case

A MENTAL HEALTH hearing is scheduled for Friday for a man arrested for allegedly carjacking a Garden Grove police car and firing one shot through the window (Shutterstock).

A mental health pre-trial review will be held on Friday, June 7 in the case of a man who allegedly grabbed a rifle from inside a Garden Grove police car and fired a round though the window on Feb. 13, 2018.

Stephen Eric Matthews – formerly of New York City but now considered a Garden Grove resident – was being charged with five felonies and one misdemeanor.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Matthews was charged with one count each of:

• assault with a firearm on a peace officer

• shooting from a motor vehicle

• discharging a firearm with gross negligence

• unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public vandalism over $400.

Also, he is facing one misdemeanor charge of resisting a police officer.

Matthews was at a drug and alcohol treatment center in Garden Grove when police were called to assist. Center staff decided to transfer Matthews to another facility, and he was placed in the back compartment of a police patrol car.

There he was able to get through what police say was a defective Plexiglas barrier, remove the rifle from its lock and fire one round through the front windshield. He also allegedly used the butt of the rifle to smash the in-car computer.

After a three-hour standoff, he finally surrendered to police early the next morning. No one was injured and police did not fire their weapons.

The hearing is set for 9 a.m. in the West Justice Center in Westminster.

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