Monday, March 20, 2023



RVer, arrested after high-speed chase, returns to court

An RVer camped in Malibu, California, fled police following an altercation with his wife and was found and arrested in Barstow 150 miles away. In May he had led authorities on a high-speed chase that started in Santa Clarita. He returned to court Friday, only to have his preliminary hearing continued.

Stephen Merle Houk was charged with two counts of kidnapping, child abuse, injuring a spouse and child detention, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and reported by

Houk was also charged with one count each of assault with a firearm, criminal threats, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle, possession of a firearm by a felon, fugitive from justice and transient violation of registration, a misdemeanor.

Houk and his spouse allegedly got into a fight in the family’s RV parked in Malibu, according to law enforcement officials, and is accused of pointing a loaded firearm at his wife and threatening to kill her. The two children, ages 3 and 1, were awakened by the commotion, said a prosecutor with the District Attorney’s office. 

His wife asked for help from a passerby, who called authorities, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Houk allegedly fled when Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded and a pursuit ensued going through several different law enforcement jurisdictions.

Houk then fled from the RV after stopping near Bakersfield and was later found in Barstow, where he was taken into custody.

Bail was set at $1 million. Houk’s preliminary hearing was scheduled to continue Tuesday, August 28.


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