A parolee was in custody Saturday night after an apparent one-man crime spree that involved an alleged bank robbery, a couple of attempted carjackings and the crash of a stolen Santa Maria police car. Two people, including a pedestrian, suffered serious injuries in the collision.
According to Santa Maria police Lt. Rico Flores, officers were dispatched just before 1 p.m. Saturday to a reported robbery in progress at Chase Bank, 1846 N. Broadway St. Flores said a suspect had entered the bank, assaulted and threatened a branch employee and demanded money. Bank personnel gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash and he fled the building on foot.
Flores said a witness saw the suspect clamber into the bed of a red Chevy Silverado near the intersection of Broadway and Taylor Street, a block north of the bank, and the pickup truck drove south on Broadway, back toward the bank.
About five minutes later, police say the suspect tried to carjack a vehicle from a young woman near the intersection of West Donovan Road and Pine Street. Two bystanders came to the woman’s aid and attempted to detain the man, but Flores said he was able to escape.
According to Flores, the man then ran up to a red Jeep Cherokee and tried to force open the driver’s side door. As the motorist sped off, the suspect held on to the vehicle, finally letting go of the Jeep at North Thornburg Street, a block west of Pine.
A Santa Maria police officer responding to the bank robbery was diverted to Donovan Road, where a fight had been reported, Flores said. The officer came upon the suspect, who charged at him as he got out of his patrol car. A struggle ensued, and police said the officer’s attempts to Taser the man had no effect on him. Instead, the man was able to take the wheel of the police car and he drove away, briefly dragging the officer with him.
The suspect raced west on Donovan Road and, soon after, collided with a Chevy pickup truck at an estimated 80 mph before hitting two parked cars and a pedestrian on Blosser Road, south of West Main Street, police said. According to police, the pickup driver suffered major injuries to his back and his passenger had moderate injuries.
Authorities said the collision forced the carjacked police car into the parking lot of a nearby market, where it struck a pedestrian. The force of the impact propelled the woman about 30 feet, and police say she has a broken back and head trauma.
Four people, including the suspect, were transported to Marian Regional Medical Center. The collision happened less than 20 minutes after the bank holdup.
Flores said the suspect was identified as Phillip Craig Bailey, a 42-year-old parolee from Atascadero. He said Bailey, who is receiving medical treatment at an undisclosed hospital outside the area, may have been under the influence of “some type of stimulant drug.” Once medically cleared, Flores said Bailey is expected to be booked on numerous criminal charges, including bank robbery, attempted murder of a peace officer, kidnapping, carjacking, attempted carjacking and criminal threats.
Flores did not say whether the money was recovered but the investigation is ongoing.
The conditions of the accident victims were not known late Saturday. The police officer who was dragged down the street suffered minor injuries, Flores said. The officer’s identity was not disclosed.
Flores said police are asking that the drivers of the Silverado and the Cherokee come forward with any information they may have about the attempted carjackings. The motorists, and anyone else with information related to the investigation, are urged to contact police at 805.928.3781 x277.