Moreno Valley deputies injured after man fleeing from traffic stop crashes into patrol vehicle
MORENO VALLEY, Calif., — Authorities say a local man who was seen performing reckless stunts within a Moreno Valley intersection crashed into a patrol vehicle while attempting to elude a traffic stop early Tuesday morning, May 10.
The two deputies injured in the collision are expected to survive and are continuing to recover after the crash, which happened at the intersection of Lasselle Street and Bay Avenue, according to officials.
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Deputies driving a marked, black and white Sheriff’s patrol vehicle were traveling east on Alessandro Boulevard approaching Lasselle Avenue shortly after midnight when they observed a white Nissan coupe doing burn-outs – commonly referred to as donuts – in the intersection, Riverside County Sheriff’s Sergeant Chad Craig has since said of the pursuit and arrest.
The deputies activated their vehicle’s emergency lights and siren to conduct an enforcement stop on the Nissan for reckless driving; however, the driver, later identified as Ramiro Benitez-Jimenez, 23, of Moreno Valley, refused to yield and recklessly continued doing donuts within the intersection.
Benito-Jiminez then fled the area at a high rate of speed and attempted to evade the deputies by driving recklessly through residential streets.
“As deputies attempted to catch up, the driver of the Nissan made a U-turn, turned off the headlights, and drove straight toward two patrol vehicles,” explained Craig, adding, “The deputies were forced to swerve to avoid being struck head-on by the suspect in the Nissan.”
As the fleeing man continued his attempts to elude pursuing deputies and other deputies were responding to the area to assist with his apprehension, he failed to stop for a red light at the intersection of Lasselle Street and Bay Avenue and plowed into a marked patrol unit that was traveling through the intersection with a green light, according to the Sergeant.
After smashing into the patrol vehicle, Benito-Jiminez fled the Nissan on foot, running into a nearby residential neighborhood. He was eventually located hiding in the backyard of a property on Tallandsia Court, northeast of Kitching Street and Bay Avenue, where he was taken into custody without further incident.
“Illegal street racing and sideshows are a growing issue throughout the Inland Empire. These types of incidents surged during the pandemic, as fewer people were on the roads. This has resulted in numerous innocent bystanders losing their lives.
The Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station is looking into various ways to combat these types of illegal activities and is taking a low-tolerance approach to street racing. Taking over streets, destroying intersections, and driving at excessive speeds is dangerous and a serious threat to other motorists, pedestrians, and our community. No one should be killed or injured because someone wants to show off.
A conviction of illegal speed contest, reckless driving, or exhibition of speed could result in fines in excess of $1,500, 90 days in jail, suspension of your driver license, and your vehicle being impounded for 30 days.” – Riverside County Sheriff’s Sergeant Chad Craig
Benitez-Jimenez was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer likely to result in great bodily injuries, reckless driving, and resisting or obstructing a peace officer.
Online jail records indicate he remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail or bond.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Moreno Valley Sheriff’s Station at (951) 486-6700 or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Dispatch at (951) 776-1099. Callers can refer to incident file number MV221300001 and can remain anonymous.
Persons who wish to report criminal activity and wish to remain anonymous can call crime stoppers at 800-78-CRIME (800-782-7463) or 800-47-DRUGS (800-473-7847). Tipsters can also leave anonymous information on the Sheriff’s Crime Tips Online Form.
Contact the writer: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
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.