A scene straight out of an action movie came to life on the streets of Riverside Tuesday as a man clung to the roof of a moving vehicle that was attempting to shake him off.
Investigators said a 44-year-old man was driving southbound on the 3400 block of Harlem Avenue after crossing the Burlington Northern Railroad when he was struck by another vehicle. Police said when the victim got out of his car to approach the other driver, the suspect drove away. The victim followed the other driver and called 911.
When both vehicles reached Harlem and Ogden, the victim jumped out of his car to try to hold the suspect until police could get there. According to police, the suspect tried again to drive away and that’s when the victim jumped on the suspect’s hood.
“It was spur of the moment,” said Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel. “He just jumped on his hood because he didn’t believe that the offender would continue to drive.”
Weitzel said the suspect drove his car in two continuous U-turns at the intersection of Harlem and Ogden in an attempt to throw the victim off his vehicle.
Police said the victim was able to jump off the hood when the car came to rest about a minute later. No one was hurt.
Police said the first arriving officer saw the suspect holding a crowbar and threatening the victim. Officers separated the two and received numerous statements from witnesses.
A witness who was doing repair work at a nearby White Castle provided photos of the bizarre scene to police.
Riverside Police charged Jacob D. Joyce, 21, with hit and run, aggravated assault, reckless driving, driving while license suspended and several other traffic offenses related to the crash and fleeing the scene.
Weitzel said he is extremely thankful the victim was not injured.
“Never attempt to engage an offender that you have seen commit a crime as you do not know what their state of mind is,” Weitzel said. “The police can always do a follow-up investigation in an attempt to make an arrest.”