An incident that started last year, ended with a man being sentenced to more than 88 years and four months in state prison for kidnapping his two young children and fleeing from law enforcement in a motorhome.
On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Major Crimes Bureau (MCB) detectives attempted to detain a parolee at large, Suspect Stephen Merle Houk, who was believed to be armed and wanted for evading, child abduction, child endangerment, and weapons violations.
The suspect fled the area in a motorhome and MCB initiated a pursuit. Command of the pursuit was assumed by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and then by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The pursuit came to an end in an Orchard in Bakersfield.
After a two day man hunt with the joint efforts of the US Marshals Service, Kern County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Barstow Police Department, and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF Railway) Police the suspect was located in a rail yard on the 200 block of North Avenue H, Barstow.
MCB detectives were able to take the suspect into custody without further incident.
Due to the collaborative efforts between many law enforcement agencies spanning several counties the suspect was successfully prosecuted, by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Section, for failing to register as a sex offender, kidnapping, child abuse, injuring a spouse, child detention, assault with a firearm, criminal threats, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a felon.