Man accused in carjacking try pleads not guilty

SAN DIEGO - A man who allegedly tried to forcibly take a vehicle from a woman in City Heights -- his citizen's arrest caught on video went viral -- pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted kidnapping during a carjacking, felony child abuse and possession of a controlled substance.

Ismael Velasquez Hernandez, 21, was ordered held on $200,000 bail. He faces 12 years in prison if convicted.

Deputy District Attorney Cherie Somerville told Judge Jay Bloom that Hernandez got into a van Sunday as a woman and her 7-year-old daughter waited in the vehicle in a market parking lot.

Hernandez got into the driver's seat, hitting the woman in the face and chest, Somerville said.

The prosecutor said the defendant tried to drive away, but bystanders intervened and held the suspect until police arrived. Video of Hernandez being pulled out of the van by several men was posted on YouTube.

Hernandez, who also faces charges of carjacking and assault, will be back in court July 25 for a readiness conference. A preliminary hearing was set for July 29.

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