A 25-year-old San Bernardino man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a violent purse snatching in which he allegedly attacked a family in Laguna Beach before leading police on a chase.
James Michael Kelley was charged Tuesday with second-degree robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and leading police on a chase, according to court records.
Kelley is accused of knocking a woman down and taking her purse about 10 p.m. Saturday in the 600 block of South Coast Highway, according to Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota. The woman’s teenage son tried to stop Kelley, grabbing him by his legs, prompting the defendant to slam a large metal flashlight over his head, Cota said.
When Kelley got away he ran away with the woman’s husband in tow, Cota said. When the husband caught up, Kelley allegedly struck him with the flashlight, too, Cota alleged.
Kelley hopped into a car and reversed it toward the husband and a witness, narrowly hitting them, Cota alleged. A police officer nearby saw Kelley driving away, leading to the chase, which ended in Newport Beach where officers stopped it with a spike strip, Cota said.
Kelley, who was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, was ordered to return to court Aug. 8 for a pretrial hearing.