A man and his neighbors on Thursday prevented a carjacking suspect from getting away following a struggle for control of the vehicle and a subsequent crash.
Police responded to the 1800 block S. Seventh Street at 4:20 p.m. after receiving a report of an accident that involved a firearm.
Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said a 40-year-old man left his car running while he went inside his home. When the man came back outside he saw someone — identified as Martin Ayon Jr., 23 of Santa Nella — trying to drive away with his automobile.
The man entered his vehicle, fought Ayon for control of the steering wheel and caused the car to hit a tree half a block away and land on its passenger side, Reyna said.
After the crash the man continued to fight with Ayon, who allegedly pulled out a gun and shot at the victim. The victim was not hit. Reyna said neighbors came to the aid of the victim and helped hold Ayon down until police arrived.
“They were instrumental in keeping him in custody, otherwise he could have ran off and we may have never got him. It’s absolutely dangerous, but I’m just saying had it not been for that he could have done this to another person who might not have been able to defend themselves,” Reyna said.
Ayon was arrested on suspicion of carjacking and attempted murder.
Thursday’s incident was the second time in two days a carjacking was reported in Los Banos. Police are searching for two carjacking suspects who reportedly stole a vehicle on Canal Farm Lane Wednesday night.Police said one of the suspects in that incident was spotted in the car on E. B Street, but he managed to flee the vehicle and escape apprehension.