In a carjacking incident in Westminster the carjacker claims he was not aware of the three children inside the vehicle. The children’s father had left the car idling in a parking spot in front of a water store while he went inside, only expecting to be in there a short time.
Thien Nguyen’s defense attorney, in his opening statement, acknowledged that his client stole the Lexus SUV from a Westminster parking lot and led the police on a chase through multiple red lights.
Nguyen’s attorney also admits that his client quickly realized that there was an 11 year old boy in the passenger seat. But his lawyer denies that Nguyen purposely kidnapped the two boys and a girl. His lawyer also denies that his client intentionally rammed into other cars.
In Nguyen’s lawyer’s argument against the kidnapping charges, the defense attorney quoted a requirement under the law that the abduction “must be more than incidental” to the carjacking.
The prosecutor and defense attorney told jurors that Nguyen ignored the 11 year old boy in the passenger seat. A half mile away, Nguyen came to a congested intersection where the lawyers say he sideswiped a car and rear-ended another.
The 11 year old took that chance to grab his dad’s cell phone, and tell his younger siblings to get out of the car and run for safety. They got away as Nguyen maneuvered his way out of the intersection. The children’s father met up with his children after a witness drove the father behind the stolen SUV.
An off duty Westminster officer saw the collision and followed behind Nguyen until other police officers arrived.
Nguyen faces 10 felony counts stemming from the alleged carjacking, including assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, evading an officer, child endangerment, and kidnapping.
If you or a loved one is suspected of child endangerment, carjacking, or evading an officer, call Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.