Police found a cache of weapons and ammunition in the home of a man who allegedly threw mortars at officers during a George Floyd protest in Santa Ana over the weekend, officials said.
Jon Paul Worden, 32, was seen by Santa Ana police throwing the weapons at officers as they formed a skirmish line at a protest Saturday in the area of Ross and 4th streets.
Worden was spotted again near Birch and 4th streets, when police said he lifted his shirt to show a firearm to other protesters, officials said in a news release.
Police said they watched Worden until he left the area in a vehicle “due to the large crowd and for safety reasons.”
Officers tried to stop the vehicle, which was also occupied by Worden’s father, and a short pursuit ensued.
Police stopped the pursuit because of the suspect’s “erratic driving,” but later found Worden and his father at his Santa Ana home along the 2600 block of West Stanford Street.
An Orange County Sheriff’s helicopter spotted Worden leaving through the back of the home and he was taken into custody by police.
He was positively identified as the man who allegedly threw mortars at the officers and had the gun during the protest.
After a search of Worden’s home, police found four AR 15-style assault weapons, a short-barreled shotgun, three handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, several high-capacity magazines, bullet proof and load bearing tactical vests and more than 600 pounds of illegal fireworks and mortars.
Worden was booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of high capacity magazines, and assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, police said.
“Although the overwhelming majority of demonstrations have responsibly involved non-violent participants, armed suspects such as in this case, [compromise] the safety of everyone involved,” Chief David Valentin said in a statement.