A transient accused of going on a Pacific Palisades crime spree that included a kidnapping, assaults and multiple carjackings is scheduled to be arraigned today on more than a dozen felony charges.
Brian Thomas Cruz, 44, was charged Wednesday with four felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon; three counts of carjacking; two counts each of first-degree burglary, second-degree robbery, criminal threats and reckless driving causing injury; and one count each of kidnapping and false imprisonment by violence.
Cruz was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
According to the criminal complaint, Cruz has prior convictions for burglary, robbery and forcible rape between 1989 and 1995.
Cruz allegedly broke into a home around 7:40 a.m. Monday in the 100 block of Marquez Place and forced a woman at knifepoint to drive him toward the San Fernando Valley, police said. The woman intentionally crashed her car near Palisades High School, but Cruz allegedly carjacked another woman, a teacher, and crashed that vehicle a short distance away, according to police and prosecutors.
He then allegedly broke into another home and forced another woman to surrender her car keys. Cruz drove north on Pacific Coast Highway and ultimately reached Malibu before hitting several vehicles and eventually crashing again and being taken into custody.
A woman and her son were flown to hospitals after being injured in the crash in Malibu, officials said.
Cruz faces a possible life sentence if convicted of all charges, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
He has been jailed in lieu of $1 million bail, but prosecutors plan to ask that his bail be increased to $2.85 million.