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Man charged with attempted murder after hitting Santa Ana children with his car

CBSLA.com: The Rundown (May 25 PM Edition)
CBSLA.com: The Rundown (May 25 PM Edition) 02:37

The man accused of driving his car into a group of young kids walking to school in Santa Ana was charged with premeditated attempted murder Wednesday. 

"The actions of a single individual have resulted in undue trauma to the victims he hit as well as countless children, parents and school staff," said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. 

The suspect, 26-year-old Jason Carlos Guzman, was charged with 21 felonies: seven counts of premeditated attempted murder, seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of hit-and-run with injury, three counts of child abuse and one count of possession of a flammable liquid. 

Prosecutors also charged him with two misdemeanors, brandishing a deadly weapon and hit-and-run with property damage. Guzman was convicted in 2017 for felony assault.

Guzman is accused of crashing into a group of children from Taft Elementary School as they walked to campus with their grandparents. Three children were hospitalized after they were thrown into the air after being hit by Guzman's Mazda Protege. One of the children, a six-year-old girl was hit the day before her birthday. The children did not suffer any serious injuries, according to authorities. 

"These children were innocently walking to school on the sidewalk with their grandparents and but for the grace of God, this incident did not result in a child being seriously injured or killed," Spitzer said. 

A mother tried to confront Guzman after he crashed his vehicle. Guzman then allegedly brandished a knife at her. 

Guzman is still hospitalized after an apparent self-inflicted stab wound to the abdomen. 

"We are thankful for all law enforcement agencies who responded to ensure everyone at the campus remained safe," said Santa Ana Unified School District Superintendent Jerry Almendarez.

If he is convicted on all counts, Guzman faces a max sentence of 49 years to life plus six years in state prison as well as one year in Orange County Jail.

"Children are the most vulnerable victims, and I will do everything in my power to protect our children whether they are at school, at church and at home," said Spitzer. 

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