Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against a former Atascadero mayoral candidate who remains hospitalized after being accused of crashing his getaway vehicle following an attempted bank robbery last week.
Charles John Scovell, 37, has been in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo since Friday, hospital spokesman Ron Yukelson said.
On Wednesday, the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office filed four felony charges of second-degree attempted robbery, making threats to commit violence, fleeing a police officer involving reckless driving, and driving a car without the owner’s consent. Those charges carry several sentencing enhancements related to Scovell’s extensive criminal record, which includes domestic violence and a DUI resulting in injury.
A San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge issued an arrest warrant so that officials can take him into custody when he is discharged from medical treatment. A court arraignment has not been scheduled.
Scovell crashed a vehicle on Highway 46 East in unincorporated Kern County following a long car chase after he allegedly attempted to rob a Heritage Oaks Bank in Paso Robles. A witness in line at the bank’s drive-thru noticed a man — later identified as Scovell — attempting to force the teller through the window to give him money, according to the Paso Robles Police Department.
No money was exchanged, but officers arrived as Scovell attempted to leave. Scovell is accused of pulling onto the highway and leading officers on a chase past the county line.
In a June hearing, Scovell was given a last-chance agreement by Judge Michael Duffy, who noted Scovell’s problems with substance abuse and said he could avoid a sentence of up to 14 years in state prison if he stayed out of trouble for five years.
A representative from the District Attorney’s Office was not immediately available to comment on what possible prison sentence Scovell could face.
Scovell, who owned a tree service business, challenged Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley in 2014, losing to the incumbent by 19 percentage points.