Discharged Pendleton Marine faces felony charges

Posted at 2:21 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 17:21:39-04

A 20-year-old former Marine Corps driver charged with burglary and evading after a bizarre, slow-speed televised chase last month is also being prosecuted for an alleged run-in with a motorist after a crash on the UCLA campus.

Herschel Gene Jose Reynolds pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon -- a motorcycle -- and hit-and-run driving resulting in injury to another person. He also faces a misdemeanor count of destroying evidence.

The criminal complaint alleges that he was free on bond in the case stemming from the April 7 pursuit at the time of the April 16 crash in Westwood.

Reynolds was arrested April 30 by UCLA police and has remained jailed since then in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Reynolds, of Bellflower, refused to exchange insurance information with the other motorist after the April 16 crash, prosecutors allege.

He allegedly accelerated his motorcycle and knocked the other motorist to the ground after the driver tried to stop him from leaving the scene of the accident. Reynolds had allegedly repaired the damage to his bike by the time police tracked him down nearly two weeks later.

The crash occurred nine days after Reynolds was involved in a chase on freeways and surface streets, at one point doing "donuts" in a Ford Mustang and posing for photos with neighborhood residents at the end of the pursuit while awaiting the arrival of law enforcement.

Reynolds and his passenger, Isaiah Dewayne Young, 19, are each charged with one felony count each of first-degree residential burglary and fleeing a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle while driving recklessly and two misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage.

Reynolds -- who had been released on bond two days after his arrest -- is scheduled to be arraigned next Tuesday in a Bellflower courtroom in that case.

Police began chasing the Mustang after a Cerritos woman returned home, saw a vehicle in her driveway that she didn't recognize and honked her horn. The car sped away and the woman found the back door of her home smashed and items missing, authorities said.

A neighbor gave deputies a description of two young men in a dark blue Mustang, which was spotted by a sheriff's aero unit heading from the westbound Artesia (91) Freeway to the northbound Long Beach (710) Freeway.

During the ensuing chase, the men put the Mustang's convertible top down, even though a steady rain was falling. The driver did "donuts" on Hollywood Boulevard, drove the wrong way on rain-slick streets and taunted pursuers.

At one point, the Mustang was cut off by a TMZ tour bus in Hollywood and the passenger threw something at the bus as the driver steered the Ford around it.

Even when the front right tire of the Mustang was shredded, possibly from a spike strip, the driver kept going. During the pursuit, the Mustang appeared to clip another vehicle and still kept on.

The driver ultimately exited the Harbor (110) Freeway at Adams Boulevard and drove to the area of Central Avenue and 51st Street in South Los Angeles, where he stopped and got out of the Mustang and the passenger stood up inside the car, calmly awaiting the arrival of authorities.

Some of the onlookers talked to and high-fived the suspects, even taking selfies with the two men before deputies arrived and took them into custody without incident.

During the chase, some onlookers cheered as the vehicle passed by and the two alleged burglars appeared to respond with fist pumps.

Pentagon officials said Reynolds served with the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton as a motor vehicle operator but was discharged in January, with authorities saying "the character of his service was incongruent with the Marine Corps' expectations and standards."