UPDATED: HEMET: Hit and run suspect with “distinctive haircut” turns himself in

HEMET — A man who was chased down by a retired military veteran and photographed after he was allegedly involved in a hit and run traffic collision Tuesday June 20, turned himself in to authorities Friday afternoon, June 23.

SEE RELATED: Officials seek help after veteran chases down hit and run suspect, snaps photos

Ricardo Hernandez was arrested after a hit and run traffic collision when he turned himself in to authorities in Hemet. HPD photo

Bowing to increasing pressure from family and friends after Hemet police officials released photographs of the alleged hit and run suspect via social media, the man – identified as Ricardo Hernandez, 35, of Hemet – walked into Hemet PD and “voluntarily” turned himself in to authorities three days after the injury hit and run crash.

“Hernandez provided a statement to investigators, admitted he was involved in the collision and admitted he left the scene,” a Hemet PD official wrote after Hernandez’ arrest.

Hernandez was arrested and was booked into Riverside County Jail on suspicion of felony hit and run resulting in injuries. His bail was set at $10,000, according to the official.

“What else could he do?” a friend of Hernandez’, who requested not to be named, angrily commented after her friend’s arrest, “With his face plastered all over the Internet, there was nothing else he could do! You f—ing people are ruining Ricardo’s life and make making him miserable.”

When asked for clarification of “you people”, Hernandez’ friend responded, “All you f—ing Internet trolls with nothing better to do than sit around staring at your computer screens all f—ing day long.”

The incident began about 1:45 p.m., when police responded to reports of a hit and run traffic collision near the intersection of Acacia and Lyon Avenues in Hemet.

Hemet PD officials were able to quickly identify and arrest Hernandez, at least in part, due to his distinctive haircut. Hemet PD image

Callers told dispatchers and investigating officers that a newer-model, black Camaro, later determined to have been driven by Hernandez, rear-ended a Volkswagen Beetle.

“Immediately following the collision the driver of the Camaro fled the scene,” Hemet Police Sgt. Dan Reinbolt explained in a written press release after the incident.

Although both occupants from the VW were injured, when Hernandez reportedly fled the scene of the crash, the driver of the VW – a military veteran who lives in Riverside – ran after the suspect on foot.

When Hernandez became stuck in “heavy traffic,” the vet managed to catch up to the fleeing vehicle and snap several photos of the alleged suspect and his car, which he later provided to law enforcement officials investigating the crash.

Hemet PD issued a press release via social media asking for help from the community with identifying and locating the suspect. The press release included several photos of Hernandez and his car.

By the very next day, investigators obtained a lead from a patrol officer who recalled the suspect – and his “distinctive haircut” – from a previous contact during an “unrelated incident,” said the official.

Although investigators had the name of the alleged suspect and were actively looking for him, officials were not able to locate the man; leading to their releasing his photographs on social media.

After seeing his photographs plastered across the Internet and on numerous Hemet and San Jacinto-based Facebook newsgroup sites, Hernandez turned himself in at the Hemet Police station Friday, about 4:30 p.m.

In response to Hemet PD’s use of social media to spread the word about the hit and run and Hernandez’ images, area resident Cheryl Karwacky-Richards said, “It’s good to know the police are on top of info on social media like this.”

Eugenia “Jennie” Schaefer of San Jacinto agreed, saying, “The Internet and (social media) are such a powerful tool nowadays, it wouldn’t make sense if cops didn’t use it to track down and locate suspects and solve crimes.”

Law enforcement agencies around the country are quickly learning the power of social media, with ever-increasing numbers of departments turning to sites such as Facebook and Twitter as an effective means of getting out information about active incidents, major crimes and ongoing investigations.

Several attempts were made to contact Hernandez; however, as of this report he had not responded to requests for information about the incident.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

HEMET: Officials seek help after Veteran chases down hit & run suspect, snaps photos

HEMET — Although City of Hemet police officials say they have identified a man who allegedly fled the scene of an accident, they are asking for the man to either turn himself in or for the public’s help in locating him. The hit and run crash left two people injured Tuesday June 20.

Hemet police officials are asking for the public’s help finding this man, who left two injured in a hit and run crash. Hemet PD image

When the unidentified man fled the scene of the accident, the driver of the vehicle that was struck, a retired military veteran who lives in Riverside, chased after the fleeing car and managed to take several photographs of both the man and his car, described as a newer, black Chevrolet Camaro with Gosch dealership paper plates.

The incident began about 1:45 p.m., when the Camaro rear-ended a Volkswagen Beetle near the intersection of Acacia and Lyon Avenues in Hemet.

“Immediately following the collision the driver of the Camaro fled the scene,” Hemet Police Sgt. Dan Reinbolt explained in a written press release.

Hemet Police and Fire personnel responded to the traffic collision after it was reported to City of Hemet emergency dispatchers. While firefighter/paramedics treated the injured veteran and his passenger, officers investigated the hit and run.

During their investigation, officers learned the driver of the Chevrolet, described as a Hispanic male adult, between 18 and 25 years old, with black hair and “a distinctive pattern shaved into the left side of his head, just above his left ear,” fled the scene after the collision.

A military veteran chased down this vehicle after it was involved in a hit and run. Hemet PD image

“When the suspect drove away, the victim chased after (him) on foot,” Reinbolt explained. “When the driver of the Camaro was forced to stop due to heavy traffic, the victim used his smart phone to take two photographs of the suspect and (his) vehicle.”

Although officials have not said who caused the collision, the incident is being investigated as an injury, hit and run, traffic collision, according to Reinbolt, who urged the driver to turn himself in.

In response to Hemet PD’s use of social media to spread the word about the hit and run and the alleged suspect’s images, area resident Cheryl Karwacky-Richards said, “It’s good to know the police are on top of info on social media like this.”

Hemet resident Robert Sinzun suggested to officials via the department’s Facebook page, “You should check with barber shops around the area only a hand-full of them that do designs.”

Anyone who recognize the suspect or had information about his whereabouts is urged to contact Hemet Police Department officials at (951) 765-2400. Anonymous tips can also be provided to the department’s Anonymous Tip Line: (866) 640-TIPS (8477) or using CrimeStoppers.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

AGUANGA: Aguanga resident killed in 4-vehicle, rollover, head-on wreck ID’d

AGUANGA — An Aguanga resident was killed and several people were injured in a four-vehicle, rollover, head-on collision Wednesday, June 21. According to officials, blinding evening sun is being blamed for the major pile-up, that forced the temporary full-closure of SR-79 near Crosley Truck Trail in the unincorporated community of Aguanga.

Coroner’s officials identified the victim who perished in the accident as 50-Year-old, Lawrence Young. According to a coroner’s release, Young died at the scene of the accident and was pronounced dead about 45 minutes after the accident at 8:34 p.m.

California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire personnel were dispatched to the scene of the fatal accident about 7:45 p.m., after several motorists and witnesses called 911 to report the wreck.

Callers told dispatchers four vehicles were involved and several people were seriously injured and trapped inside their wrecked vehicles.

Thirteen firefighters from four engine companies responded to the accident scene, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Tawny Cabral explained in an incident report.

“The first arriving engine company reported a four-vehicle traffic collision with two victims requiring extrication,” said Cabral.

Firefighter/paramedics immediately began evaluating and treating those involved in the accident, while other firefighters began the process of cutting the trapped victims from the mangled wreckage’s of their vehicles.

Officials summoned an air ambulance for one of the most seriously injured victims. That person, whose injuries officials described as major, was later flown by air ambulance to an area hospital. The person’s condition was listed as serious.

Another victim, whose injuries were also described as major, was eventually transported by AMR ground ambulance to an area hospital. According to officials, the person’s condition was listed as serious.

Despite life saving efforts, Young, who was a passenger in the vehicle that caused the collision, succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.

Seven of the victims who were evaluated at the scene declined further medical treatment.

While firefighters were treating the injured and using the “Jaws of Life” to extricate the trapped victims, CHP officials investigated the cause of the deadly wreck.

During their investigation, officers determined the four-car pile-up happened when Gary Kirkham, 76, of Aguanga, was momentarily blinded by the evening sun as he was traveling northbound on SR-79 in a 2016 Ford Fusion.

Young, the man killed in the crash was one of two passengers in Kirkham’s vehicle and had been sitting in the front, passenger seat of the Ford when the deadly wreck happened.

Kirkham told officers the sun, “which was directly in his face, blinded him and caused him to cross over the double yellow lines directly into the path of a 2009 Chevy HHR, being driven by a 68-year-old male from Anza,” CHP Officer J. Garcia wrote in an accident report.

When the Ford drifted into oncoming lanes of traffic, it sideswiped the Chevy – which had three occupants inside it – causing the Chevy to overturn. The Ford continued out-of-control, northbound into the southbound lane where it struck a 2013 Toyota 4-Runner head-on. The Toyota was being driven by a 35-year-old woman from Aguanga and had two passengers inside it.

“The force of the impact caused the Ford to veer off the west edge of the roadway,” Garcia explained.

As the wrecked vehicles were coming to rest, a 2004 Hyundai, being driven by a 48-year-old male from Aguanga smashed into the left side of the Toyota in the southbound lane of traffic.

None of the involved vehicles were speeding at the time of the crash, according to Garcia.

Officials called for the temporary closure of both directions of travel on SR-79 while emergency crews tended to the injured victims and CHP conducted their investigation, which is active and ongoing.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

 

UPDATED: AGUANGA: Two Anza residents killed in solo-vehicle, SR-371 rollover ID’d

UPDATE: Wednesday, June 14, 4 p.m.

Jonathan Barksdale lost control of his 2007 Mustang, causing his vehicle to leave the roadway. Miguel Shannon/Epicenter News photo

AGUANGA — Two Anza residents died when a vehicle they were in lost control, hit a large boulder and flipped, end-over-end, before landing on its roof Tuesday, June 13. The crash went un-noticed until later in the morning when someone spotted the wrecked vehicle off SR-371, just east of Lakeshore Boulevard in the unincorporated community of Anza.

Coroner officials later identified the victims as 28-Year-old, Jonathan Barksdale and 26-year-old, Jacob Szymanski.

California Highway Patrol and Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire officials responded to the scene just after 7 a.m., after a passing motorist noticed the blue, 2007 Ford Mustang upside-down in a field, north of SR-371.

When they arrived, firefighter/paramedics quickly determined both men had been ejected from the vehicle. Both sustained major, traumatic injuries and had already succumbed to their injuries. Paramedics pronounced the victims dead at 7:10 a.m.

CHP officers investigated the accident and determined the collision happened sometime in the “early-morning hours.”

Their investigation revealed Barksdale was driving the Mustang eastbound on SR-371 just east of Lakeshore Boulevard “at a high rate of speed,” CHP Public Information Officer Mike Lassig explained.

Both occupants were ejected from the vehicle. Miguel Shannon/Epicenter News photo

In spite of a sweeping curve in the roadway and posted 50 mph precautionary road sign, Barksdale “failed to properly negotiate the curve in the roadway, crossed over the opposing westbound traffic lane and traveled off of the north roadway edge of SR-371,” said Lassig. 

After leaving the northern edge of SR-371 the Mustang continued, out of control, “where it collided with a large boulder approximately twenty-five feet from the roadway,” Lassig explained. The impact “caused the Mustang to vault into the air.”

Both men were ejected before the vehicle came crashing down on its roof, upside down.

Officials have not yet determined what time the crash actually happened, pending further investigation.

Alcohol or drug intoxication have not been ruled out, pending toxicology results.

CHP’s investigation into the accident is active and ongoing.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

MENIFEE: Pedestrian standing in roadway fatally struck

MENIFEE — A pedestrian who was reportedly standing in the lanes of traffic on Highway 74 was struck and killed by a motorist Thursday evening, June 8. The late-night, fatal accident happened in the 27800 block of State Route 74, near 3rd Street in Menifee.

City of Menifee Fire and Police Departments responded to the deadly collision at 11:43 p.m., after several 911 callers notified Riverside County emergency dispatchers regarding the vehicle versus pedestrian traffic collision.

When they arrived, officials found the pedestrian down in the roadway. The victim had sustained major, traumatic injuries. Despite life-saving efforts, the pedestrian succumbed to their injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Edmondson explained in a written press release after the accident.

Officials have not released the victim’s name pending notification of the person’s family.

Members from the Menifee Traffic Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

During their investigation, deputies determined “the motorist was westbound on State Route 74 and collided into a pedestrian who was standing in the roadway,” Edmondson explained. “The Pedestrian was not found to be near a cross walk at the time of this collision.”

The driver of the vehicle that fatally struck the pedestrian remained at the scene and was cooperating with the investigation, said Edmondson.

Neither alcohol nor drug intoxication appeared to be contributing factors in this collision; however, the investigation is active and ongoing.

During their investigation, officials called for the temporary closure of SR 74. Officials reopened the roadway about five hours later, at 5 a.m.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation or who witnessed the collision is encouraged to call Deputy Grimm at the Perris Sheriff’s Station at (951) 210-1000. Callers can refer to incident file number ME171590159 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.