MURRIETA – Felony charges are expected to be filed today against a 19-year-old man suspected of carjacking a Lake Elsinore shopkeeper and attempting to carjack another person in the same area.
Sawyer Lee Aston of Wildomar was arrested Thursday on suspicion of carjacking, attempted carjacking and committing a felony while on bail. He is being held in lieu of a $60,000 bond at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.
According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Luke Torres, Aston first came to the attention of deputies about 12:30 p.m. Thursday after his mother called from a Lake Elsinore shopping center on Grape Street, saying her son had walked away from her in an agitated state and that she believed he was armed and likely to harm someone.
Torres said that deputies arrived moments later and encountered the manager of a store who alleged that Aston had “pressed a pistol against his head” and demanded his car keys. The man refused to comply and got away from the young man, according to the sergeant.
He said deputies quickly located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. The firearm turned out to be fake.
After Aston was booked, detectives uncovered evidence that he was the alleged perpetrator in a carjacking that occurred two days earlier in the 32200 block of Mission Trail, according to Torres.
During that holdup, a shopkeeper was walking out to his vehicle when Aston confronted him, aimed the handgun at him and demanded his car keys, Torres alleged. The victim complied, and the suspect allegedly drove off, the sergeant said. The automobile is still missing.
Torres said Aston was re-arrested after he was positively identified as the suspect in the latter crime.
According to court records, the defendant was arrested for alleged auto theft in October, but his family posted a $10,000 bond, and he was released from jail.