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Press Release

Fresno Man Arrested in Fullerton After Alleged Carjacking and High-Speed Police Pursuit Charged in Federal Criminal Complaint

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California

SANTA ANA, California – A Fresno man has been arrested on a federal criminal complaint alleging he carjacked a motorist in Fullerton and threw her out of the car before leading law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit in which he hit a police car, then fled on foot before officers apprehended him, the Justice Department announced today.

Deshawn Ricks, 33, was arrested Wednesday afternoon and is charged in a federal criminal complaint with carjacking.

Ricks is scheduled to make his initial appearance this afternoon at United States District Court in Santa Ana.

According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, on the afternoon of June 14, Fullerton Police officers were dispatched to the scene of a carjacking that occurred in a parking structure in downtown Fullerton. The victim told officers she was sitting in her parked 2022 Mazda CX-5 SUV with the vehicle turned off when Ricks approached her, opened her car’s door and ordered her out of the SUV.

When the victim refused, Ricks allegedly placed one of his hands on her lower back and brandished a metal object – which the victim described as a “shank” – in his other hand. Ricks allegedly threatened to stab the victim, then pulled her out of the vehicle by her hair and body.

Ricks then got into the vehicle and while he attempted to get it to start – the SUV had a “push to start” feature – the victim reached into the vehicle, grabbed her purse and then walked away to get help, the affidavit alleges. Ricks allegedly then drove the car within five feet of the victim and left the area.

Approximately 10 minutes after being notified of the carjacking, Fullerton Police officers located Ricks driving the victim’s stolen SUV, according to the affidavit. Despite officers’ attempt to make a traffic stop, Ricks allegedly led police on a high-speed pursuit in Fullerton in which he ran red lights, drove into oncoming traffic, and hit a marked police vehicle. Later during the chase, when Ricks lost control of the speeding Mazda that then was struck by a police vehicle, he exited the SUV and fled on foot before officers apprehended him, the affidavit states.

After law enforcement stopped the vehicle, officers allegedly found a pointed, serrated metal stake type object – approximately 12 inches long – near the front driver’s seat.

A criminal complaint contains allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted, Ricks would face a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Orange County Violent Crimes Task Force (OCVCTF), which is comprised of federal and local law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, the ATF, the Santa Ana Police Department, the Brea Police Department, and the Fullerton Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Chelsea Norell, Kevin Butler, and Jena MacCabe of the Violent and Organized Crime Section are prosecuting this case.


Ciaran McEvoy
Public Information Officer
(213) 894-4465

Updated June 15, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-135