Case # 18WF0400
Date: February 15, 2018
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged today with assault on peace officers for shooting at them from inside a patrol car with an unlawfully possessed police-issued rifle.
Defendant: Stephen Eric Matthews, 33, Garden Grove
Charged today with the following counts:
- Felony Charges
- Assault with a firearm on a peace officer
- Shooting from a motor vehicle
- Discharging a firearm with gross negligence
- Unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public
- Vandalism over $400
- Misdemeanor Charges
- Resisting a peace officer
- 10 years and four months in state prison
Arraignment: Feb. 16, 2018, 10:00 a.m. at Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana
Circumstances of the Case
- On Feb. 13, 2018, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Matthews was contacted by the Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) and placed in the rear of a patrol car while awaiting medical aid.
- Approximately 10 minutes later, Matthews is accused of obtaining a GGPD rifle from inside the patrol car and pointing it at officers through the closed window. The officers took cover.
- The defendant is accused of firing a single round through the front windshield of the patrol car.
- Matthews is further accused of using the rear end of the rifle to smash the in-car computer.
- SWAT officers responded to the scene and the defendant surrendered hours later without further incident. No shots were fired by officers.
Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Kirk, Special Prosecutions Unit.