Man charged with murder after doorbell prank turns deadly 

'Doorbell ditch' prank turns deadly, man charged with murder

LOS ANGELES — A California man is facing murder charges after intentionally crashing into a carload of teens who rang his doorbell and fled Sunday.

The group of six boys were having a sleepover celebrating one of their birthdays when they decided to play a game of “doorbell ditch,” a prank where someone rings a home’s doorbell then runs away, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said.

On a dare, one of the boys rang the doorbell at 42-year-old Anurag Chandra’s house, then ran. The boy jumped into a 2002 Prius with the five other boys and drove away with Chandra in pursuit.

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Chandra, behind the wheel of a 2019 Infinity Q50, rammed into the back of the Prius around 10:30 p.m., forcing it off the road and into a tree, officials said.

Daniel Hawkins, Jacob Ivascu and Drake Ruiz, all 16, were killed. The 18-year-old driver and two other boys, ages 13 and 14, were injured but will survive. Their identities have not been released.

Chandra was followed to a nearby house by witnesses who called authorities. Chandra was taken into custody around 2:45 a.m.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office charged Chandra with three counts of murder and attempted murder on Thursday.

Daniel Hawkins and Ruiz played football. Ivascu was the oldest of five children.

“They were all very talented young men (with) incredible potential, their whole lives in front of them,” Daniel Hawkin’s father, Craig Hawkins, told KTLA. “They were just boys. They were our children. They were members of this community and they don’t deserve what happened.”

FILE PHOTO: A California man is facing murder charges after intentionally crashing into a carload of teens who rang his doorbell and fled Sunday.
FILE PHOTO: A California man is facing murder charges after intentionally crashing into a carload of teens who rang his doorbell and fled Sunday. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)