CORONA: Hatchet-wielding man arrested after attacking off-duty officer, others

CORONA – A hatchet-wielding man, who attacked several people, including an off-duty Corona police officer, was arrested after a vehicle pursuit wound its way from Corona to Garden Grove, in Orange County Friday, April 7. The initial hatchet attacks happened in a business in the 200 block of DuPont Street in Corona.

Sebastian Lieu was arrested after he allegedly used a hatchet to attack several people before leading police on a pursuit to Orange County. CPD photo

At the end of the vehicle pursuit, officers identified and arrested Sebastian Minh Lieu, 42, of Lake Elsinore.

Corona police officers were first notified about the hatchet-wielding man about 11:13 a.m., when the Corona Police Department’s Communications Center began to receive the first of several 911 calls from the business.

“One caller stated there was an Asian male in the driveway of his business, swinging a machete,” Corona Police Public Information Officer Sergeant Jason Perez explained in a written press release after the incident and arrest.

“Seconds later, (dispatchers) received another call from an off-duty Corona Police officer who said an Asian male assaulted him with a hatchet,” said Perez.

The off-duty officer, who managed to fend off the attack and was not injured, saw the suspect get into his vehicle, described as a silver Honda, and directed incoming on-duty officers where to intercept the suspect.

Within moments, uniformed officers spotted Lieu fleeing the area in the Honda and attempted to conduct an investigatory traffic stop.

In spite of the officers’ lights and sirens, Lieu refused to stop, at which time officers initiated a vehicle pursuit.

With officers in pursuit, the suspect fled onto the westbound 91 Freeway and then southbound on the 55 Freeway.

During the pursuit, Lieu drove in an extremely reckless manner, without regard for the safety of other citizens or pursuing police officers.

The pursuit continued onto the westbound 22 Freeway where the suspect eventually stopped near Trask Avenue in Garden Grove.

Corona PD officers, along with assisting Orange County law enforcement agencies, apprehended the suspect without further incident.

During a subsequent search of the suspect’s car, investigating officers “found two hatchets and illicit drugs in the suspect vehicle,” Perez explained.

After his arrest, Corona police officers transported Lieu back to Riverside County, where he was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, recklessly evading police officials and multiple drug related charges.

An online jail records search revealed Lieu remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. His next court appearance has been set for May 25.


Contact the writer:

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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

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