UPDATE: Man who led HPD officers on slow-speed chase was suffering from a medical crisis

UPDATED: Friday, Sept. 9, 7:15 p.m.

See Original Story below.

HEMET — An elderly man who led police officers on a slow-speed chase through downtown Hemet yesterday morning was later determined to have been suffering from a medical emergency, Hemet Police Lt. Nate Miller has since told RCNS in an email response for further details related to yesterday’s incident.

Yesterday morning’s incident began around 10 a.m. when the man, who has not been publicly named due to having committed no crime, nearly collided with a Hemet police officer while traveling on Florida Ave.

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Radio traffic at the time indicated City of Hemet emergency dispatchers had received several 911 calls reporting the man’s erratic behavior and dangerous driving.

When the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the driver, he “failed to yield and continued driving west-bound on Florida Ave.,” according to Miller.

The driver eventually came to a stop in the middle of the roadway a few blocks later,on Florida Ave. near N. Ramona St., “but the driver (and lone occupant) began acting erratically; stepping out for a few seconds, reaching into the truck, before sitting back down in the driver seat,” Miller explained.

Not knowing if the man was armed with a weapon or what his intentions were, officers deployed numerous bean bag and pepperball rounds into the man’s pickup truck, in an effort to gain his compliance and get him to exit his vehicle.

“After several minutes, officers were able to detain the driver,” said Miller.

A photo shot from the scene of yesterday’s dramatic incident showed the tense moments that a man was detained after a slow-speed chase through downtown Hemet. The subject was later determined to have been suffering from an unspecified medical emergency and was not charged with committing any crime. Sergio Rodriguez/Hemet Valley Incidents photo.

Video shot from the scene by Hemet Valley Incidents community news reporter Gary Rainwater showed the man appeared confused and incoherent, and he seemed to have no idea what was happening, where he was, or why he had been stopped.

“Once the officers could communicate with the driver, he was found to be suffering a medical emergency and transported to the hospital,” according to the Lt.

The man was not charged with any crime related to the incident.


Original Story: BREAKING: Back to back pursuits cause chaos in Hemet

HEMET — Details, photographs and videos are beginning to pour in after a slow speed pursuit ended in Hemet with a short standoff this morning, Thursday, Sept. 5.

Although the driver eventually stopped in the area of Florida Ave. and N. Ramona St., the man refused to exit his vehicle or obey officer’s commands and officials were forced to use less-lethal munitions to force the uncooperative driver from his vehicle.

As officers were finishing their investigation at that scene, other officers became involved in the high-speed pursuit of a motorcyclist who fled from them. That man was also eventually apprehended after crashing into an SUV and fleeing on foot.

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This morning’s first incident began shortly after 10 a.m., when Hemet PD dispatchers received multiple 911 calls from citizens reporting a erratic man driving in a dangerous and reckless manner in a silver Dodge Ram pickup truck.

Officers converged on the area and within moments located the Dodge in the area of Florida Ave. and State St., at which time officials attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle.

Officers with guns drawn try to coax an uncooperative man from his pickup following a slow-speed pursuit through downtown Hemet this morning. Officials eventually deployed numerous less-lethal bean bag and pepperball rounds to gain the man’s compliance. Sergio Rodriguez/Hemet Valley Incidents photo

Despite the officer’s lights and sirens the man, who has not yet been publicly identified, refused to yield and began to lead officers on a slow speed pursuit on Florida Ave.

As the slow-speed pursuit continued, the driver nearly collided with a Hemet PD patrol vehicle, causing the situation to escalate.

The man eventually came to a stop on Florida Ave. near N. Ramona St.; however, the driver continued to refuse officer’s commands. As the man sat in his pickup, numerous additional officers lined up behind his vehicle and officials with their guns drawn began to issue loud verbal commands for the man to exit his pickup.

The driver continued acting erratically and was seen repeatedly opening and closing his door and rolling his windows up and down, but he refused to obey officer’s commands – leading to a brief standoff and temporary closure of Florida Ave.

As the incident continued, officers eventually deployed less-lethal bean bag rounds to shatter the Dodge’s windows, at which time officers began to fire pepperball rounds into the driver’s truck, in an effort to force the man from his vehicle.

After several minutes and the deployment of numerous bean bag and pepperball rounds, the driver – described as an older white male with silver hair – eventually exited his truck.

The man who led officers on a slow-speed pursuit was eventually detained and taken to a local hospital to be evaluated. It was not known why the man fled from officers or if he was suffering from a medical or mental health crisis leading to the incident. Gary Rainwater/Hemet Valley Incidents photo

Video shot from the scene by Hemet Valley Incidents community news reporter Gary Rainwater showed the man appeared confused and incoherent, and seemed to have no idea what was happening or why he had been stopped. However, he continued to fail to obey commands given by officers at the scene, causing officers to deploy additional pepperball rounds at the subject.

Officers eventually moved in with guns drawn and took the man down, handcuffing and detaining him for further investigation.

The driver was later transported to Hemet Valley Hospital for evaluation and treatment; however, it was not immediately known of he was injured during the incident or had been suffering from a medical or mental health crisis leading to the incident.

At about 12:10 p.m., as officers were finishing this investigation and the suspect was being checked out at the hospital, other officials became involved in a second pursuit of a motorcyclist who fled from them at high speed.

The motorcycle pursuit continued for several blocks until the rider smashed into an SUV in the area of San Jacinto St. and Johnston Ave.

A high-speed motorcycle pursuit came to a crashing end when the fleeing rider smashed into an SUV and fled on foot. The rider was eventually taken down with a well-aimed Taser deployment. Gary Rainwater/Hemet Valley Incidents photo

The rider then fled from the scene of the crash on foot and managed to run one more block to the area of San Jacinto St. and Val Monte Dr.

Official radio traffic at the time indicated a Hemet officer chased the fleeing rider down and used a less-lethal Taser device to take the running man down so he could be handcuffed and detained for further investigation. He was later transported to Hemet Valley Hospital for evaluation and treatment of injuries he received in the crash.

That incident was active and ongoing at the time of this report.

Contacted for information and details about the two incidents, Hemet PD advised a Watch Commander was at the hospital with the suspects and all other officers were busy investigating the two pursuits, but that a Watch Commander would call back with details as soon as available.

A motorcyclist who fled from officers and then ran on foot after crashing into another vehicle waits to be treated by paramedics after his flight for freedom ended with a Taser deployment. Gary Rainwater/Hemet Valley Incidents photo

SEE RELATED: As one Hemet chase was ending, motorcyclist leads officers on second pursuit

These are both developing stories that will be updated as additional information is available.

See photos below.

Gary Rainwater/Hemet Valley Incidents video
Gary Rainwater/Hemet Valley Incidents video
Gary Rainwater/Hemet Valley Incidents video
Gary Rainwater/Hemet Valley Incidents video

Click any photo to open full-size gallery.

Gary Rainwater/Hemet Valley Incidents photos above

Sergio Rodriguez/Hemet Valley Incidents photos above


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta 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, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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