WESTWOOD—A 20-year-old ex-marine was charged with assault on Tuesday, May 3 while allegedly out on bail, just weeks after leading a televised police pursuit through the streets of Hollywood, Cerritos, and South Los Angeles.
Herschel Gene Jose Reynolds, of Bellflower pled not guilty Tuesday to one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon, a motorcycle, and hit-and-run driving resulting in injury to another person. He additionally faces a misdemeanor count of destroying evidence, as noted in a press release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Reynolds was charged on April 16 with crashing his motorcycle into a car while driving on the UCLA campus and refused to exchange insurance information, prosecutors said.
Reynolds allegedly then accelerated his motorcycle, knocking the other motorist to the ground, after the driver tried to stop him from fleeing the scene of the accident.
The suspect had allegedly already repaired the damage to his bike when police tracked him down two weeks later.
The criminal complaint alleges that Reynolds was free on bond during the April 16 crash after he and his passenger, Isaiah Dewayne Young, 19, were charged on April 7 with one felony count of first-degree residential burglary, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly, and two misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage.
The pursuit began when a Cerritos woman returned home to find a vehicle in her driveway that she didn’t recognize – she honked her horn and the car sped away. The woman found the back door of her home smashed and a box of jewelry missing, and called the police.
A neighbor gave deputies a description of two young men in a dark blue Mustang, which was then tracked and found by a helicopter unit, heading from the westbound Artesia 91 Freeway to the northbound Long Beach 710 Freeway.
As the chase transpired, the driver did “donuts” on Hollywood Boulevard with the Mustang’s convertible top down, despite the steady rain. The men were allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road and taunting pursuers.
The driver exited the Harbor 110 Freeway at Adams Boulevard and drove to the area of Central Avenue and 51st Street in South Los Angeles, where Reynolds stopped the car, got out, and sat on the hood, while Young stood up inside the car, surrendering to authorities.
Bystanders cheered and high-fived the suspects – some even took selfies with the two men before authorities arrived and took them into custody.
ABC7 reported that according to military personnel information from the Marine Corps, Reynolds served in the Marines from April 22, 2014 to January 13, 2016. He was ranked as a private, and was never deployed; he was decorated with the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
According to Pentagon officials, Reynolds served with the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton as a trained motor vehicle operator but was discharged in January because, “the character of his service was incongruent with the Marine Corps’ expectations and standards,” officials noted.