(Woodland, CA) - January 6, 2017 - District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that the Honorable David Rosenberg sentenced Alamar Cyril Houston, 38, of Sacramento to 35 years in state prison, the maximum sentenced permissible under the law. Today’s sentence follows a jury verdict convicting Houston of multiple felonies including assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run causing injury, vehicle theft, and reckless evasion from law enforcement.
On June 30, 2015, Houston stole a truck in Glenn County and recklessly drove it down I-5 through Yolo County nearly hitting several motorists who were on their way to work. After crossing the Sacramento River into Sacramento County, Houston crashed the stolen truck near the Sacramento International Airport. After crashing, he hopped over the center median, ran across I-5, and stole a Hyundai SUV from a rental company at the airport. He drove into Downtown Sacramento with the stolen SUV where he intentionally hit a motorcyclist twice, ejecting and slightly injuring the rider. Houston fled the scene, but tried to hit another motorcyclist a few blocks away with the SUV. Houston then drove over the Freeport Bridge into Clarksburg, Yolo County where a group of cyclists were participating in the “Tuesday River Ride;” an organized bike ride for avid cyclists. On South River Road, Houston pulled up next to cyclist Don Dumaine and intentionally hit Dumaine from the side, knocking him to the ground and injuring him. Houston again did not stop his SUV, but rather continued driving down South River Road for about a quarter mile when he encountered teenage cyclists Jonathan Jackson and Taariq Jensen. Houston, driving 20-30 mph faster than the teens were riding, intentionally ran them over with the SUV and sped away from the injured riders. Jackson was thrown off the hood of the SUV and Jensen struck the windshield. Jackson suffered injuries to his ankle while Jensen suffered more critical injuries that required him to be airlifted to Kaiser Hospital. There, Jensen was placed in a medically induced coma for several weeks and had to have a portion of his skull removed to treat his serious head injury. Houston’s crime spree continued after running over the teens as he drove from South River Road into West Sacramento. Houston went to the Walgreens on West Capitol Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard where he punched a store clerk in the face and stole a case of water. Immediately after leaving the Walgreens, West Sacramento Police Officer Dan Gill spotted Houston in the stolen SUV and attempted to pull the SUV over. Houston, however, refused to pull over and led Officer Gill on a dangerous pursuit which included speeds exceeding 70 mph on surface streets, the running of red lights where other drivers were almost hit, and driving into oncoming traffic. Houston eventually abandoned the SUV in a Downtown Sacramento ally where he ran from Officer Gill and assaulted Officer Gill’s K-9, Diesel, before being taken into custody.
During the sentencing hearing, Jensen and Dumaine gave victim impact statements describing the attack that left them both injured, Jensen critically. To this day, Jensen still suffers from the injuries inflicted upon him by Houston. Jensen’s father provided a written statement that was read to the Court. Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence of 35 years based on the callousness and depravity of the crime as well as Houston’s lengthy criminal record, which included multiple felony convictions and four stints in prison. In sentencing Houston to the maximum amount of time in prison, Judge Rosenberg called Houston “a menace to society.”
District Attorney Jeff Reisig, stated, “Today’s sentence is a clear denouncement of violence and removes from society a career criminal who broke the law with no regard for its consequences or the people who may suffer as a result. The defendant forever altered the lives of the victims and their families in this case. Now, they can begin to rebuild knowing that he will not be able to hurt them or anyone else. Our community is much safer today.”
This case was investigated by the California Highway Patrol, Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, West Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento Sheriff’s Office and Sacramento Police Department.