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Suspect Allegedly Attempts to Assault Officer with Stolen Car

It was the kind of car stop they make training videos about.

Brian James

It started with a driver who forgot to turn on his headlights. 

By the time it was over, police say, an armed robbery suspect had tried to assault a police officer with a stolen car and had broken into three homes in an attempt to evade arrest.

The suspect, Brian Lee James, 32, of Temple City, is scheduled to be arraigned later this month on suspicion of 12 felonies, including robbery, burglary and street terrorism.

The action began to unfold a few weeks ago along Western Avenue.

An off-duty Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department motor officer spotted the Honda Element about 9:30 p.m., and spun around to make the stop.

“Somebody driving with their lights off at that hour can be a good indication of a drunk driver,” said Det. Mark Lillemoen. “But that wasn’t the case this time.”

Instead of pulling over, the driver allegedly tried to back the Honda into the deputy. The deputy was able to maneuver out of the way.

But the suspect sped away. 

The deputy radioed for help.

About the same time, Anaheim officers were responding to an armed robbery of a video store at Ball Road and Knott Avenue.

“Officers immediately connected the two incidents,” Lillemoen said.

But that wasn’t the end of it. 

Phones in Anaheim PD’s dispatch office began ringing again a few minutes later, this time with 911 calls reporting a man jumping fences and breaking into homes near Twila Reid Park.

Officers eventually arrested James – a third-strike candidate – in the backyard of one of the homes, and found evidence connecting him to the robbery.

Police say they are investigating whether James is connected to other crimes. Anybody with information is urged to call Lillemoen at (714)765-1959.