SANTA ANA, Calif. - A 26-year-old Valencia man has been charged after allegedly droving a car containing "incendiary devices" onto a sidewalk, hitting three elementary schoolchildren. Jason Carlos Guzman was charged Wednesday with more than 20 counts regarding related to Monday's hit-and-run incident outside Taft Elementary School in Santa Ana Monday morning.
According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Guzman attempted to get on campus at the elementary school around 8 a.m. Monday, telling a staff member that he planned to use the bathroom. The staff member told him to leave.
Orange County officials say that Guzman crashed his car into a school parking lot barrier when he tried to leave, then accelerated onto a sidewalk along Keller Avenue, hitting a group of schoolchildren. According to the OC DA's office three of the children in that group — an 11-year-old girl, a 9-year-old girl, and a 6-year-old girl a day shy of her 7th birthday — flew into the air after being hit by Guzman's car. Guzman then allegedly hit an SUV driven by a mother who had her daughter in the car.
Officials say that another mother at the school who witnessed the crash followed Guzman and confronted him. When she did, Guzman allegedly threatened her with a knife. The woman then backed off and was unhurt. Police say they found Guzman sometime later with what they believed to be a self-inflicted stab wound to the abdomen. The Orange County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad say they also found several containers of flammable liquid in Guzman's car.
Guzman remains hospitalized. All told he has been charged with seven felony counts of premeditated attempted murder, seven felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, three felony counts of hit-and-run with injury and three felony counts of child abuse, one felony count of possession of a flammable liquid, one misdemeanor count of brandishing a deadly weapon and one misdemeanor county of hit-and-run with property damage. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 49 years to life plus six years in state prison.