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A 17-year-old Oakland boy was arraigned today on a charge of attempted murder of a police officer in connection with the ramming and shooting of a California Highway Patrol cruiser in Oakland in July. Kenyon Thomas also was arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on charges of carjacking and assault on a police officer with a semi-automatic firearm and an allegation that he committed the crime to benefit a criminal street gang. Oakland police, the California Highway Patrol and the U.S. Marshals Task Force Team arrested Thomas in the 1400 block of Bay Street in East Palo Alto at about 11 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities had been searching for Thomas since July 21, when a CHP officer attempted to pull over a van near the 800 block of 50th Avenue in Oakland at about 8:30 p.m.
The van did not stop, and while CHP officers were in pursuit, a black Acura pulled up behind the patrol car, rammed it several times and at least one of the occupants opened fire. The CHP officer was not injured. The occupants of the van, identified as Samiuela Sina, 18, and David Gonzalez, 23, were arrested later that night, but the occupants of the Acura escaped. On July 23, one of the two suspects believed to be in that car, identified as Joseph Gonzalez, 18, David Gonzalez’s brother, was arrested after an hours-long standoff in the 2400 block of East 24th Street. Police announced shortly after that Thomas was suspected to be the other suspect in that car and that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
Joseph Gonzalez, David Gonzalez, and Sina were charged on July 25 with the same offenses Thomas faces: attempted murder of a police officer, assault on a police officer with a semi-automatic firearm, carjacking with a deadly weapon and an enhancement allegation that they committed the crime to benefit a criminal street gang. Sina and the Gonzalez brothers joined Thomas at a brief hearing at the Hayward Hall of Justice today but their plea entry, which had been scheduled for today, was postponed until Sept. 18. Thomas is scheduled to return to court on Monday to have an attorney appointed to represent him.
Prosecutors allege that the suspects’ criminal activity began when they drove in a van to the Southland Mall in Hayward, spotted a female victim who was seated in a black Acura and then carjacked her vehicle at gunpoint, forcing her to get out of her car. Oakland police Officer John Haney said in a probable cause declaration filed in court that the suspects then drove in the van and the Acura to Oakland, where a CHP officer tried to pull the van over for a traffic violation. The confrontation with CHP officers then ensued, Haney said.
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