Canyon Country man held to answer on charges of attempted murder, domestic abuse

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A Canyon Country man accused of attempted murder, injuring his spouse and child abuse was held to answer on Friday for six of the seven charges brought against him.  

David Charles, 59, was held to answer on two counts of attempted murder and one count each of injuring a spouse, mayhem, child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death, and assault with a deadly weapon, according to Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The deadly weapon in the case was a car, according to the D.A.’s Office. 

A judge’s decision for a defendant to be “held to answer” follows a preliminary hearing in which the court determines whether there is sufficient evidence of a crime and if a trial should be held. If the judge rules in favor of the prosecution, the defendant will be subsequently arraigned again and enter a plea to the charges.   

Charles’ arraignment and next court appearance is scheduled to take place on Oct. 1 at the San Fernando Courthouse in Department NVD.  

A seventh charge of assault by using force likely to produce great bodily injury was dismissed or not prosecuted. Officials from the D.A.’s Office did not respond to a request for further information on why the final charge had been removed.  

The charges stem from a Sept. 2, 2019, domestic violence call in Canyon Country that ended in a violent wrong-way freeway crash involving a teenage child.  

As deputies arrived at the scene of the incident, investigators say Charles got into a car with his teenage child and drove the wrong way on Highway 14 before crashing into at least one other vehicle. He is alleged to have then exited the damaged vehicle, along with his child, and run across four lanes of the highway to Soledad Canyon Road, where he was hit by a car.  

The teenage child was not physically injured during the incident. However, Charles was described as being in critical condition, suffering from multiple broken bones, and required transportation to the hospital.  

At least three vehicles were involved in collisions as a result of the pursuit, but none of the people in the other cars were transported to the hospital.  

“A guy with a kid was leaving his house in a hurry and ended up driving the wrong way on the highway,” said Officer Josh Greengard with the California Highway Patrol, at the time of the incident. “He crashed the car and attempted to flee the scene, crossing the northbound lanes on foot. He was leading a teenage kid by the hand,” he added, noting the man was hit by a car on Soledad. 

Charles spent the next week in the hospital before being formally arrested on Sept. 9, 2019.   

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