The pursuit began when a paroled sex offender, Stephen Houk, was questioned about a report that he had threatened his wife. A customer at Starbucks in Santa Clarita reported that a woman outside claimed she had been assaulted by her husband, that he had a gun and she needed help. Houk’s wife later informed police that he had threatened her earlier that morning and held a loaded gun to her head.
Following the questioning, Houk led police on a hours-long chase in a motorhome with his two young children inside.
Police followed him through southern California and in Bakersfield Houk repeatedly entered and exited the freeway before driving through the city and a busy Walmart parking lot, all with his 3 year old son and 8 month old daughter in the back.
He then turned into an almond orchard and disappear into a cloud of dust that his vehicle kicked up.
Officers, unaware that Houk has escaped, surrounded the motorhome with armed vehicles, waiting for him to surrender. Officers waited 45 minutes before Houk’s son emerged from the motorhome, they also found the daughter inside. Both were unharmed.
Police had warned the public that Houk is considered ‘armed and dangerous.’
Houk was later arrested, two days after the pursuit. He was arrested Thursday afternoon in Barstow when found hiding in an empty rail car at a rail yard and was taken into custody.
Houk was booked on suspicion of kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats, domestic violence and other crimes.