Suspect in custody after rollover in stolen car, Mesa police say

Mesa PD helicopter overhead as carjacking occurs
Mesa PD helicopter overhead as carjacking occurs
Posted at 11:29 AM, Oct 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-24 14:30:11-04

A Mesa carjacker, recently released from prison, is accused of causing a rollover collision while having three different drugs in his body.

Mesa police report that on October 12, a police helicopter happened to be overhead, near Country Club Drive and Southern Avenue, when 29-year-old James William Gass allegedly pulled a gun on a man at a gas station, demanding his vehicle.

Police say Gass sped away at a high rate of speed and failed to stop at a stop sign about three miles away, crashing into another vehicle.

Mesa fire personnel and police responded to University Drive and Date, where they found the stolen vehicle had rolled.

Police say Gass was looking for his handgun in the vehicle and, “threatened to kill the officer if he didn’t kill him first.” He was arrested after a short standoff.

Police report that both vehicles were severely damaged, along with about $2,000 in damage to a nearby home and landscaping.

Gass was arrested five days later at a Mesa hospital. Hospital lab reports indicate that Gass had traces of meth, cocaine, and marijuana in his system.

Arizona Department of Corrections records shows that Gass was released from prison in June of this year, after serving five years for aggravated assault, weapons misconduct, and various other crimes.

He has now been charged with aggravated assault, armed robbery, and endangerment.