A man who allegedly fired off a pistol inside a Target store in Oceanside to escape a shoplifting arrest pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of attempted murder, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of firearms.
Dennis Lam, 29, was ordered held on $3 million bail.
Last June 11, Lam allegedly pulled a revolver at the discount store on South El Camino Real and fired two shots toward a security guard who was trying to escort him to an office for questioning about a suspected theft of merchandise.
The gunfire did not result in any injuries, but allowed the suspect to break free and scramble off along with a female companion. The pair got into a black late-model BMW sedan parked outside the business and sped away.
The next morning, Lam and Ana Molina were spotted by a CHP officer sleeping in the BMW on the right-hand shoulder of northbound state Route 133 in Irvine.
The officer woke the pair up and asked for identification, but Lam allegedly sped off.
With the officer giving chase, Lam allegedly fled to the south at speeds exceeding 100 mph before colliding with a Ford F150 pickup.
Lam allegedly commandeered the truck by force and drove another quarter- mile before pulling over and fleeing on foot.
Molina stayed inside the vehicle and was arrested a short time later.
Officers surrounded and searched the area, finding Lam hiding in a car parked behind a home on Silverado Canyon Road.
Lam was charged in Orange County and was out of custody on bail when he was charged in San Diego County.
A readiness conference is scheduled Dec. 30 and a preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 5.
— City News Service
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