Man suspected of punching ex-girlfriend, stealing infant twins arrested

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station

An Apple Valley man was arrested on suspicion of punching his ex-girlfriend and then stealing her car with their two infant children in the back seat Tuesday.

James O’Neal, 26, was arrested in connection to the family disturbance call that was first reported at around 10:20 p.m. on the 17700 block of Sierra Highway in Canyon Country.

The alleged victim and the suspect are reportedly a man and woman who have two infant twins together, and on the night of the incident, the two parents are suspected of having a verbal argument.

“The suspect reportedly locked the door behind him, preventing the victim from leaving and allegedly began assaulting the victim, punching and knocking the victim down,” said Shirley Miller, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “The suspect took the phone away and then took the victim’s car keys by force.”

O’Neal is suspected of then speeding off in the stolen vehicle, Miller said, with the two children inside the vehicle with him.

Deputies broadcast the description of the suspect and the vehicle, after which deputies reportedly were able to locate O’Neal on Willow Glen Court, Miller said.

“(Deputies) observed the suspect walking down the street carrying two car seats,” said Miller. “When the suspect set the car seats down, the deputies apprehended the suspect and the children were moved to safety.”

Deputies comforted the two children while waiting on their mother to arrive on the scene, and O’Neal was transported to the SCV Sheriff’s Station.

He was booked on suspicion of felony carjacking, domestic violence, child abduction without right and false imprisonment.

He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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