Carjacker pistol-whips driver after asking for ride in PB, police say

SAN DIEGO – A 19-year-old man was behind bars Monday on suspicion of stealing a car at gunpoint and briefly kidnapping the car’s driver after asking a man for a ride in Pacific Beach, police said.

The series of events began shortly after 9:05 p.m. Sunday on Grand Avenue near Haines Street, San Diego police Officer John Buttle said.

A 21-year-old man was sitting in his 2007 Hyundai sedan when the 19- year-old man walked up to the victim, asked him for a ride and got into the car, Buttle said.

The victim started to drive away when the suspect pulled out a handgun and told him to keep driving, Buttle said.

The victim pulled over in the 1400 block of Grand Avenue and yelled for help before the suspect pistol-whipped him, knocking out some of the victim’s teeth, Buttle said.

The victim got out of the car and the suspect drove away before crashing into a parked car in the 4600 block of Gresham Street, Buttle said.

An officer in the area witnessed the crash and saw the suspect run away and jump over a fence into the backyard of a nearby residence, Buttle said.

Officers blocked off the area and found the suspect hiding in the backyard and arrested him, Buttle said.

The suspect, 19-year-old Skyler Battreall, was arrested and booked into San Diego Central Jail around 3 a.m. on suspicion of carjacking and kidnapping, Officer Robert Heims said.