An Arizona man accused of leading authorities on an erratic and dangerous police chase that ended in Burbank was hit with several charges on Monday, including carjacking and assault on an officer, prosecutors said.
Phoenix resident Johnny Paul Siganoff, 32, pleaded not guilty to eight felony counts in connection with the incident that was caught on cellphone video last Wednesday, May 30, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Siganoff is accused of initially stealing a car from a gas station attendant in Mission Viejo. But after driving to Pasadena and getting into a crash with a white SUV on the 210 Freeway, near the Hill Avenue exit, he carjacked the SUV, according to the DA’s office.
He then crashed into another two cars in Glendale, on the 134 Freeway at Harvey Drive, and tried to carjack those vehicles as well, though he returned to the SUV and fled, prosecutors said.
The California Highway Patrol had received multiple 911 calls regarding an erratic driver in Pasadena, and a hit-and-run with carjacking was reported there around 9 a.m.
The agency said he struck the two vehicles in Glendale on purpose as he was getting off the 134. That’s the point at which CHP began chasing the SUV.
As CHP was in pursuit Siganoff allegedly crashed into a fourth vehicle, which he again attempted to carjack, but eventually returned to the SUV and continued to flee.
The cellphone video of the incident shows the suspect attempting to escape on foot down Riverside Drive, and the wild struggle that ensued between him and a CHP officer. The out-of-control SUV is seen spinning into the path of oncoming vehicles and driving onto the sidewalk as its driver enters and exits the vehicle in his efforts to evade authorities.
Siganoff was eventually arrested after the officer rammed his patrol vehicle into the SUV and disabled it.
Though investigators originally said the defendant was evaluated at a hospital following the pursuit and determined to be under the influence of narcotics, he has not been charged with driving while intoxicated.
His charges include three counts of resisting an officer, two counts of attempted carjacking and one count each of carjacking, assault on a peace officer and driving or taking a vehicle without consent, the DA’s office said.
Siganoff — who also goes by the names of John Siganoff, John Szabo and Frank Siganoff — could face a maximum possible sentence of more than nine years in state prison if convicted as charged, officials said.
He was being held on $300,000 bail and expected to return to court in Pasadena on June 25, inmate records show.