Carjacking and assault charges were filed today against a probationer who allegedly stole a postal truck from a mail carrier who had stopped him from carjacking and beating a senior citizen with a metal pipe.
Hernan Ortega, 32, is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count each of carjacking and attempted grand theft auto, all felonies, and misdemeanor charges of malicious destruction of property and providing a false ID to police.
Ortega, who also faces a sentence-enhancing allegation of assaulting an elderly victim, is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon on those charges, and is also accused of violating probation stemming from a 2015 vehicle theft conviction. He pleaded guilty last August in that case.
On Wednesday, Ortega allegedly approached a senior citizen at the man's Coachella home, threatened to hit him with the pipe and tried to steal the man's car.
When a postal worker who happened by intervened, Ortega allegedly stole the mail carrier's postal truck to make his getaway, said sheriff's Deputy Armando Munoz.
He abandoned the vehicle on Avenue 52, but was soon found by deputies and taken into custody, Munoz said.
Ortega was being held at the Riverside County jail in Indio in lieu of $200,000 bail.