A man who allegedly carried out a Russian roulette-style armed holdup targeting a homeless couple in Desert Hot Springs pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony assault with a gun and robbery counts.

Johnny Artis, 32, is accused along with Santiago Dorado, 21, both of Desert Hot Springs, of robbing the couple of a mirror on May 1 in a homeless encampment in the desert area of the city.

Artis is accused of brandishing a revolver at the couple, taking out some of the rounds, spinning the cylinder and pointing it at the groin of the male victim, according to an arrest warrant declaration, which alleges that Artis pulled the trigger but the gun did not fire.

Dorado allegedly laughed during that exchange and told Artis to “Just shoot him, just shoot him,” the declaration alleges. The men then allegedly took the mirror and left the encampment.

Artis was later arrested and charged in a separate robbery, in which he and three other suspects allegedly carjacked a motorist at gunpoint on May 3. The unidentified victim’s vehicle and “other valuables” were taken, but the man was otherwise uninjured, Sgt. Christopher Saucier said.

Artis was arrested on May 4 after he was spotted jumping over a wall of a home near the scene of the carjacking. He allegedly ran from officers, jumping over walls in the neighborhood, before being taken into custody in the 13600 block of Mark Drive.

Dorado, who pleaded not guilty to the same counts on Monday, was arrested last week in Desert Hot Springs, according to county jail records.

Artis is due back in court June 20 for a felony settlement conference, while Dorado’s next court appearance is slated for next Thursday.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *