Hemet officers arrest vehicle theft suspect in watermelon field
HEMET – A man in a stolen vehicle – who has had 22 criminal cases filed against him in Riverside County since 2002 – was arrested once again August 16.
The alleged suspect was arrested hiding in a watermelon field after leading Hemet Police officers on a vehicle pursuit. The watermelon field is located on S. Hewitt Street in the city of San Jacinto.
Officers later identified the man as Patrick DeWayne Grigsby, 39, of Hemet. He was found “covered in watermelon juice” and was arrested without further incident, according to an official release from the department.
Once Grigsby was in custody, officers conducted a record check and learned he was on probation and had a lengthy criminal history.
A Superior Court records revealed Grigsby had another recent case filed against him early July. He was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a weapon, possession of a controlled substance, providing false information to a peace officer, prior state prison enhancements, and violation of probation.
He was released from jail after posting bail. When he was released, Grigsby was given a court date scheduled for Aug 12, which he failed to show for. After failing to appear in court his bail bond was forfeited and a warrant was issued for his arrest on Aug. 15, the day before the stolen vehicle pursuit.
The most recent incident began at about 2:15 a.m. when a Hemet Police officer conducted a record check on a vehicle’s license plate. The plate indicated the sedan had been reported stolen from Ontario August 12, the very day Grigsby failed to appear in court.
Officers attempted to conduct a vehicle stop on the stolen car by activating their overhead lights and sirens. Grigsby refused to yield at which time officers initiated a pursuit.
Grigsby lead pursuing officers through Hemet into neighboring San Jacinto. He eventually abandoned the car in the watermelon field after it became disabled. He then fled from the stolen sedan on foot.
Officers established a perimeter so Grigsby was trapped in the watermelon field. Without a way out, Grigsby tried hiding among the watermelons. However, officers found him.
After his arrest, Grigsby was transported to the Southwest Detention Center.
A jail record search revealed Grigsby was booked on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evasion, committing a felony while out on release, and violation of his mandatory supervision terms and conditions.
He is being held in lieu of $225,000 bail. He was scheduled to be arraigned at an unspecified court Aug. 18.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Hemet officials at (951) 765-2400. Callers can refer to incident file number 16-7671 and can remain anonymous.
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