Police arrest suspected carjacker

Two victims fought off 33-year-old Austin Downing

A suspect attempted to car jack two vehicles and fought with their drivers before police arrived and arrested him, according to Hollister Police Department.

On August 18 at approximately 5:10 a.m., Hollister police officers were dispatched to the Safeway Gas Station located at 591 Tres Pinos Road in response to a report of an attempted carjacking. Dispatchers advised a man had attempted to car jack two separate cars and fought with two separate drivers. They described the carjacking suspect as a white male adult wearing a long sleeved sweater and jeans.

The first Hollister police officer arrived on scene and located a man matching the description. The man quickly approached the officer and told the officer he had a weapon. The officer attempted to search him but the suspect pulled away from the officer and took a fighting stance. The man was tasered when he refused to comply and began to charge the officer with clenched fists. After a short struggle, the man was taken into custody. He was later identified as Austin Downing, a 33-year-old transient with no previous police contacts in Hollister.

Officers later spoke with two separate victims who said Downing approached them, opened their car doors and attempted to take their vehicles.

In both instances the victims reportedly fought back against Downing’s attempts.

Downing was arrested for two counts of attempted carjacking and one count of resisting and obstructing a police officer.

Anyone having information on this case is asked to call Officer Tong at the Hollister Police Department at 636-4330. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

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