A robbery suspect accused of leading Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies on a brief pursuit that culminated in an hourslong standoff Monday morning in Canyon Country had his case remanded to a special court intended to determine his mental competency to stand trial.
Christopher Daniel Schultz, 35, was scheduled to be arraigned on two counts Wednesday, according to L.A. County Superior Court records available online: a felony robbery charge, and a violation of section 2800.4 of the state’s vehicle code, which makes it illegal for a person to evade law enforcement by driving on the wrong side of the road. The latter allegation can either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, according to state law.
The District Attorney’s Office did not respond immediately Thursday to a request for the criminal complaint in Schultz’s case.
Homes in the 19300 block of Newhouse Street, a cul-de-sac just west of Whites Canyon Road, were evacuated for several hours after deputies reportedly tracked Schultz to a white Chevrolet Tahoe parked in front of a home in the residential neighborhood.
They named him as a suspect in an armed robbery at a business around 6 a.m. near the intersection of Bouquet and Soledad canyon roads, according to a Nixle alert issued after Schultz was taken into custody. Sheriff’s officials did not provide the name of the business but said it was at 23055 Soledad Canyon Road, which is the address of a 76 gas station and convenience store.
In a statement released after the standoff in Canyon Country that followed the end of deputies’ pursuit of Schultz, officials alleged that he used a handgun to steal merchandise and then fled the scene.
No firearm was recovered. No injuries were reported; however, Schultz was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital for medical treatment after deputies removed him from the Tahoe using a smoke grenade and tear gas, according to sheriff’s officials.
The notation in online court records indicate Schultz’s case is being handled in accordance with Section 1368 of the California Penal Code, which has to do with determining the competency of a defendant to stand trial.
“If counsel informs the court that he or she believes the defendant is or may be mentally incompetent, the court shall order that the question of the defendant’s mental competence is to be determined in a hearing which is held pursuant to Sections 1368.1 and 1369,” according to the law. “If counsel informs the court that he or she believes the defendant is mentally competent, the court may nevertheless order a hearing. Any hearing shall be held in the superior court.”
Schultz, whose listed bail also increased after Wednesday’s hearing, is now being held in lieu of $145,000.
He’s due back in court at 8:30 a.m. May 24 in San Fernando.
That appearance will be a progress report for an update on the proceedings occurring in the Mental Health Court.