Two people were left in critical condition Tuesday and a man was taken into custody in Lake Forest on suspicion of several offenses including breaking into a woman's home and stabbing her then stealing a car and colliding with a pedestrian before crashing and attempting to break into several other cars, authorities said.
The crime spree started at around 5 p.m. when the unidentified suspect got into a physical altercation at the Salvation Army store on Rockfield Boulevard, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.
The man then fled to an apartment complex on Ridge Route Drive and entered a home where he was confronted by the resident and fled again, running into a residential neighborhood. He then entered a home on Danby Drive by Smashing through the back door, according to the news release.
Inside the home, he grabbed a knife and confronted a mother who was at home with her two teenage daughters. She ran outside onto the street to lure him away from her daughters and he chased after her, eventually catching her on Mullin Road where he proceeded to stab her multiple times, the Sheriff's Department said.
While he was stabbing her, three good Samaritans driving by saw her bleeding on the sidewalk and stopped to help.
They told KTLA they thought the man leaning over her was trying to help but soon realized he was stabbing her. When he saw them, he started chasing after them with the knife before he got into their white BMW and drove away.
The stabbing victim was transported to a hospital in critical condition, authorities said.
“He was just smiling the whole time like he was having a good time,” one of the good samaritans, Daniel Alexander, told KTLA.
The suspect then drove erratically, sometimes going in the wrong direction, before he stuck a woman walking on the sidewalk on Muirlands Boulevard and then fled the scene, according to Lake Forest Police Services Lt. Chad Taylor.
The victim, a woman in her 50s, was also transported to a hospital in critical condition, the Sheriff's Department said.
The man then continued driving until he crashed into another vehicle on Aspan Street, got out of the car and started running towards a trailer park across Muirlands Boulevard, Taylor said.
He then unsuccessfully attempted to break into a house and several other cars, according to police.
A passing cyclist pepper-sprayed him before officers arrived at the scene and took him into custody, the Sheriff's Department said.
It took officers a total of nine minutes from the time dispatch received calls to apprehend the man, according to the news release.
The suspect was hospitalized and was expected to later be booked into an Orange County jail on several charges including attempted murder, carjacking and felony hit-and-run, authorities said.
"We believe there is no further threat to the community," the Sheriff's Department said.
Authorities did not identify the suspect or the victims.
No further information was immediately available.