For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
DRIVER FLEEING FROM POLICE CHARGED WITH MURDERING 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL AND INJURING HER BROTHER AND MOTHER IN HIGH SPEED CRASH
WESTMINSTER – A man has been charged with murdering a 12-year-old girl and seriously injuring her brother and mother in a high-speed crash while fleeing from police. Aleksandar Apostolovic, 26, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count each of murder, aggravated assault on a peace officer, hit and run causing death or permanent injury, evading while driving recklessly causing seriously bodily injury and death, and first degree residential burglary with sentencing enhancements for a prior strike conviction for first degree burglary in 2008 and multiple prison priors. If convicted on all counts, Apostolovic faces a maximum sentence of more than 35 years to life in state prison. He is being held on $1 million bail in this case with an additional no-bail hold for a warrant case in Los Angeles County. He is expected to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in Department W1 or W2, West Justice Center, Westminster.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. on April 3, 2014, detectives from the Westminster Police Department (WPD) were working to locate Apostolovic to arrest him on an outstanding warrant.
Detectives located Apostolovic driving a Suburban in Westminster and attempted to initiate a traffic stop in marked patrol vehicles with lights activated. Apostolovic is accused of driving directly toward a marked police car, crashing into the front of the unit. He is accused of failing to stop for the police, fleeing at a high rate of speed, and failing to stop at a red signal and two stop signs.
Apostolovic is accused of crashing into two vehicles, which were not involved in the pursuit, in the intersection of Trask Avenue and Olive Street. The defendant is accused of murdering 12-year-old Vivian Nguyen and seriously injuring two of her family members, including her brother and mother, all of whom were passengers in one of the vehicles involved in Apostolovic’s crash. The defendant is accused of acting with malice by driving with conscious disregard for the lives of others.
The defendant is accused of fleeing on foot from officers into a nearby neighborhood. He is accused of entering an occupied residence and hiding in a bathroom. When the resident located Apostolovic, the defendant is accused of fleeing the home and was subsequently located by WPD officers with the assistance of an airborne Anaheim Police helicopter Forward Looking Infrared Radar, hiding in bushes in a nearby backyard.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.