A 32-year-old man accused of shooting at occupants of a vehicle on the Riverside (91) Freeway last weekend pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony charges.
Lorenzo Antonio Parra of Corona was arrested Sunday, several hours after the alleged attack on the westbound 91 in Riverside.
Parra is charged with assault using a deadly weapon, shooting at an occupied vehicle, driving under the influence and being a convicted felon in possession of a loaded semiautomatic firearm.
He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge O.G. Magno, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for June 8 at the Riverside Hall of Justice and ordered the defendant held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a man driving a Chevrolet Silverado was going west on the 91, near Adams Street in Riverside, when his pickup came under fire about 10:40 p.m. Saturday.
Officer Juan Quintero said the driver, whose name was not released, exited the freeway on McKinley Avenue in Corona and called 911, describing the vehicle from which the shots originated as a burgundy Honda Accord, occupied by two individuals.
“The victim related that he observed the muzzle flash and heard the gunshots but did not know where the bullets struck his vehicle and was not able to obtain a license plate,” Quintero said.
Neither the man or his passenger was injured.
Quintero said patrol units canvassed the freeway and surrounding streets, locating Parra’s sedan on the westbound 91 at Maple Street close to 1 a.m. Because the defendant’s car matched the description given by the victim, it was stopped as it exited the freeway onto Green River Road, according to the CHP spokesman.
After officers confirmed that Parra was driving on a suspended license, he was detained, along with his companion.
“A thorough search of the suspect vehicle resulted in locating a loaded Ruger 9mm handgun, loose ammunition and one used shell casing,” Quintero said.
Parra was taken into custody without incident, and his passenger was released after questioning.
Investigators at this point do not believe the shooting was connected to the rash of vandalism attacks targeting vehicles traveling on the 91 Freeway between Anaheim and Riverside over the past nearly two months, resulting in windows being blown out by projectiles, likely BBs and pellets.
Another man was arrested Tuesday night in connection with the attacks.
According to court records, Parra has prior convictions for driving under the influence, felony evading and driving on a suspended license.