Subject Of BART Police Probation Search That Turned Deadly Charged In Robbery
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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The suspect whose apartment BART police officers were searching on Tuesday when Sgt. Tom “Tommy” Smith was fatally shot by a colleague has been charged with second-degree robbery for crime that occurred at an Oakland BART station last week, according to court documents.
John Henry Lee, 20, was scheduled to appear in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland Wednesday to be assigned an attorney and possibly enter a plea to the robbery charge.
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According to a probable cause statement filed in court by BART Police Officer Michael Maes, a BART officer was dispatched to the Fruitvale station in Oakland at about 10:20 a.m. on Jan. 15 to investigate a victim’s report that he had been robbed about five minutes earlier.
Maes said the victim told police that he was walking toward his car on the third level of the station’s parking structure when the suspect, later identified as Lee, yelled, Hey!”, got out of a white Honda Accord, pointed a handgun at him and told him to surrender everything in his pockets.
The victim told police that he gave Lee his car keys, wallet, cellphone and a laptop bag, according to Maes.
The man said Lee then got back into the Honda and drove away toward the exit, Maes said. The victim gave BART police a partial license plate for the Honda.
Maes said that about seven hours later, at 5:30 p.m. that day, a BART officer responded to the Hayward BART station and took a stolen vehicle report involving a white 1996 Honda Accord with the license plate 3SLV603. The car had been stolen sometime earlier that day.
Shortly after midnight the following day, Jan. 16, a San Leandro police officer witnessed Lee standing outside a parked car and closing the car’s driver’s-side door.
A second vehicle was stopped in the roadway with its engine running and facing the opposite direction, and it turned out to be the Honda Accord with the license plate 3SLV603, Maes said.
As the San Leandro officer drove toward Lee, Lee quickly got into the driver’s seat of the Honda and drove away, according to Maes.
The parked car was later determined to have been burglarized, Maes said.
The San Leandro officer activated his lights and siren in an attempt to stop the Honda but Lee drove through a red light and accelerated away, Maes said.
San Leandro police said there was a 20-minute pursuit that ended when Lee crashed into a tree and street sign at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and East Eighth Street in Oakland.
Maes said Lee got out of the Honda and tried to run away but he was stopped by a police dog. However, Lee “continued to resist arrest while being handcuffed,” Maes said.
Lee was transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland to be treated for the injuries he suffered in the collision and from the dog bites.
The officer said a loaded handgun was found inside the Honda.
In a photo lineup on the afternoon of Jan. 16, the victim identified Lee as the person who had robbed him the previous day, according to Maes.
Lee is charged with personally using a firearm and second-degree robbery. He is being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in lieu of $150,000 bail.
According to court records, Lee was convicted last year of battery against a spouse or person he was co-habiting with and loitering on private property.
Sgt. Smith was accidentally shot and killed by another officer while they and other officers were searching Lee’s one-bedroom apartment in Dublin at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey said Wednesday that the officers were looking for a stolen laptop, a laptop bag and other related items they believe Lee had stolen.
News reports have identified Maes as the officer who shot Smith but Rainey said he would not release the shooter’s name until next week.
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