Crime Briefs – September 06, 2019


(Crime Briefs)


Man Arrested In Thermal After Barricading Himself In Home

A man who allegedly barricaded himself inside a Thermal home when sheriff’s deputies arrived to serve arrest and search warrants was behind bars today.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department received a complaint on Aug. 27 involving alleged criminal threats and a felon in possession of a firearm at a home in the 88700 block of Thermal, and arrived a week later with a warrant to search the home, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Sal Gonzalez.

When deputies arrived at the residence on Tuesday, 31-year-old Jose Eduardo Mascareno — who was also wanted on two outstanding felony arrest warrants — holed up inside, the sergeant said. Deputies initially deployed a remote-controlled robot and a K-9 unit to search the home before making entry, he said. They found Mascareno hiding behind a dresser in one of the bedrooms, Gonzalez said.

Mascareno was booked into the Indio jail, with bail set at $150,000.

City News Service


Felon Charged with Leading Cops on 30-Mile Chase

Felony charges were filed today against a parolee accused of stealing an SUV in Hemet and leading law enforcement officers on a 30-mile chase into Moreno Valley, where he was captured.

Andrew Devin Barnes, 34, of Hemet, was slated to make his initial court appearance this afternoon at the Banning Justice Center on charges of evading and receiving a stolen vehicle and parole violations.

According to Hemet police Lt. Nate Miller, a patrolman cruising the 600 block of West Florida Avenue about 7 p.m. Thursday spotted a red Saturn Vue occupied by a man and woman who were behaving suspiciously.

The officer ran a check on the compact SUV’s license plate and confirmed that it had been reported stolen earlier in the week, Miller said.

He said the officer signaled the driver to pull over, and the convicted felon initially complied, but before the lawman could approach the Saturn, Barnes allegedly accelerated, triggering a non-injury pursuit that went north through San Jacinto and then west into Homeland, where Barnes turned onto northbound Interstate 215.

California Highway Patrol officers took over the high-speed pursuit, with a Riverside County sheriff’s helicopter crew tracking overhead, Miller said.

When the defendant reached Moreno Valley, he stopped on Golden Crest Drive and bailed out of the Saturn, leaving his female companion sitting in the front passenger seat, according to the lieutenant.

Officers quickly caught up to Barnes and took him into custody without further incident. He was booked at the Smith Correctional Facility, with bail set at $170,000.

The woman was questioned and released at the scene.

According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and theft.

City News Service


Man Killed In Cabazon Crash ID’d

Authorities today released the name of a New Mexico man killed in a collision on Interstate 10 in Cabazon.

Scott Fliegel, 56, of Albuquerque, was pronounced dead at the scene of the two-vehicle crash, which was reported at 10:08 a.m. Tuesday on eastbound I-10 near Main Street, according to the California Highway Patrol and the coroner’s office.

Fliegel’s passenger, a 43-year-old woman from Albuquerque, was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center with moderate injuries, and the other driver, a  Torrance man, was treated for minor injuries at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning, the CHP reported.

The 51-year-old motorist, whose name was not released, was weaving in and out of traffic in a 2008 Mercury Marquis when he swerved into Fliegel’s Ford F-150 pickup truck in another lane, CHP Officer Darren Meyer said.

The back of the Mercury struck the front of the truck, causing both drivers to lose control of their vehicles, which slid sideways toward the right- hand shoulder, Meyer said. Both vehicles overturned, tumbled down an embankment and landed on Railroad Avenue just south of the freeway, he said.

Meyer said an investigation was underway to determine whether alcohol, drugs, driver distraction and mechanical failure may be factors in the Collision.

City News Service


Water Leak in Hemet Causes Brown Water, Repairs Set to Resume

Work to repair a large leak in Hemet’s main water distribution line is set to resume today.

The leak occurred in a facility near Ivy Street and Carnation Avenue about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and stirred up sediments that turned water brown, according to the Hemet Water Department. It affected water pressure, turned water brown and prompted city officials to warn residents not to use tap water until repairs could be made.

Water department officials announced about 5 p.m. Tuesday repair crews had isolated the water main leak and secured the site for repairs.

Due to the location of the water main line impacted, the department asked all other utilities in the area to locate and mark any underground utility infrastructure near the repair site.

Ivy Street between Wildflower Street and Carnation Avenue will be closed during the repair, officials said.

The brown water caused by the main line leak should begin to subside as system pressure normalizes. Water department officials warned residents it could take up to 24 hours to flush the system and clear water of sediments and the brown color and they could experience a drop in water pressure while repairs were underway.

The discolored water is not dangerous, but the water department recommended that residents temporarily not use tap water for any nonessential purposes in order to allow time for the sediments to clear.

Once repairs have been completed, residents were urged to open their cold water faucets and let the water flow until clear, then do the same with the hot water. Once both cold and hot water was clear, water is ready for use as normal, the water department said.

City News Service


Average Riverside County Gas Price Rises For Sixth Consecutive Day

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Riverside County posted its sixth consecutive increase today after dropping 23 times in 25 days to its lowest amount since March 26.

The average price rose eighth-tenths of a cent Wednesday to $3.581. It has risen 8.9 cents over the past six days, including 1.2 cents on Tuesday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 8.7 cents more than one week ago and 3.8 cents higher than one year ago but six- tenths of a cent less than one month ago.

The increasing pump prices stem from Southern California refiners buying gasoline supply on the wholesale market last week, which drove wholesale prices up by about 30 cents, according to Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

City News Service


Man Accused Of Stabbing Sister To Make Court Appearance

A Desert Hot Springs man who allegedly stabbed his sister in the face is due back in court today.

Juan Angel Lopez, 38, is scheduled to appear this morning for a trial- readiness conference. He’s accused of attacking his sister on Dec. 7, 2017 at a transient camp in the Desert Hot Springs.

After the two argued on and off throughout the day, Lopez allegedly approached his then 35-year-old sister while she was talking to someone and stabbed her in the face with a knife, according to an arrest warrant declaration.

He was originally charged in early 2018 with attempted murder, mayhem and several sentence enhancements for causing great bodily injury, but a judge dismissed the attempted murder charge in January.

The nature of the argument between Lopez and his sister was not detailed in the warrant, nor was the severity of her injuries.

The sister, as well as other witnesses, positively identified Lopez as the suspect, according to the declaration, which also alleges that he sent several text messages to one of the witnesses that indicated he was coming to the area to stab his sister.

Lopez remains jailed in Indio in lieu of $1 million bail.

City News Service

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