Two arrested after 100 mph pursuit through Hemet
HEMET – Hemet Police officers arrested two men following a short but dangerous high-speed pursuit of a stolen pickup truck through the city of Hemet this morning, Monday, June 6. The two men were arrested after the stolen truck they were in became stuck in a field and could no longer be driven, according to a Hemet PD official.
At the end of the pursuit, officers identified the driver as Anthony Ray Higareda, 27. The passenger was identified as Edward Alexander Bacca, 24. Both men are transient residents of Hemet. Officers arrested both men and booked them into jail on eight felony charges.
At 6:10 a.m., City of Hemet emergency dispatchers received information about a Ford F350 that was stolen from the city of Moreno Valley at 5:20 a.m. Dispatchers broadcast the information about the stolen vehicle to Hemet Police officers.
Just two minutes later, an officer notified dispatchers and other officers he had received a Lo-Jack activation from the stolen truck in the area of State Street and Devonshire Avenue.
“Lo-Jack is a vehicle theft recovery system activated when a car is reported stolen,” a police official explained. The activation returned to the truck that was stolen 50 minutes earlier.
Within two minutes of the initial Lo-Jack activation, an officer located the stolen truck in the area of State Street and Menlo Avenue. The officer notified responding officers the vehicle was occupied by two males.
The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle and Higareda immediately pulled onto the Valley Restart parking lot in the 200 block of East Menlo Avenue. Higaredo initially pulled to a stop in the parking lot before fleeing from the officer at a high rate of speed.
The officer requested priority back-up and initiated a vehicle pursuit. He was joined almost immediately by a second officer, who had already been responding to the location of the stolen truck.
During the pursuit, Higareda drove in an extremely reckless manner, without regard for the safety of morning commuters or pursuing officers. With officers chasing the stolen truck, Higareda reached speeds in excess of 100 mph, according to pursuing officers. He also drove on the wrong side of the road and failed to stop for at least 3 traffic lights and stop signs as he fled westbound on Kirby Street.
The dangerous pursuit continued to the area of Menlo and Cawston Avenues where Higareda drove the stolen truck off-road through a field while attempting to elude pursuing officers.
As additional officers converged on the area, the stolen truck eventual became stuck in a ravine where the vehicle became disabled. Higareda fled from the truck on foot while Bacca remained in the vehicle and surrendered to officers. Officers detained Bacca without further incident.
Two officers chased Higareda through the field as he fled in the direction of Winco. The first officer caught up to Higareda and attempted to take him into custody. However, Higareda violently resisted arrest, fighting with the officer.
When the second officer caught up to the first officer and Higareda, the alleged suspect was still actively struggling with the officer. Together, the two officers overpowered Higareda and he was apprehended and detained.
Officers recovered the stolen vehicle at 6:20 a.m., exactly one hour after it was stolen.
Officers conducted records checks on both men, at which time they learned Higareda was on formal probation for previous auto theft. They also learned Bacca was on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) for being a felon in possession of ammunition, in violation of his probation terms. During a subsequent search, officers discovered Bacca had stolen property in his pockets.
Officers arrested both men and they were booked into the Southwest Detention Center.
A jail records search revealed Higareda was booked on suspicion of two counts of recklessly evading officers, resisting arrest with violence, receiving stolen property, possession of stolen property and violation of probation; all felonies. Higareda is being held in lieu of $100,000
Bacca was booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property and revocation of probation. Both charges are felonies. He is being held without bail, pending a revocation hearing.
Both men were scheduled to be seen at an unspecified court, June 8.
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