Hemet pursuit leads to barricaded standoff, arrest of wanted felons – Discarded firearm recovered

HEMET, Calif., — Authorities say a pair of wanted felons were arrested after a pursuit that traveled from the city of Hemet to the Red Mountain area Thursday afternoon, June 9. Although the chase was discontinued for safety reasons, a Sheriff’s aviation crew was eventually able to locate the vehicle involved in the pursuit, leading to a barricaded standoff and the pair of suspect’s arrests, according to officials.

The driver involved in the pursuit, 35-year-old Cody James Barnett, a documented criminal street gang member who has a long history of arrests in Riverside County, has led officials on other dangerous high-speed pursuits, including an April 2016 chase through Hemet that hit speeds in excess of 100 mph and ended when he crashed a stolen vehicle that he was fleeing from officers in.


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At around 3 p.m., Task Force officials spotted a Volkswagen sedan with several vehicle code violations being driven in the 1700 Block of West Stetson Avenue and attempted to conduct a traffic enforcement stop, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Art Paez has since reported.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Barnett, failed to yield to the officers’ lights and sirens and attempted to speed away, at which time a pursuit was initiated.

Cody Barnett (L) and Tarah Henry (R) were arrested after a high-speed pursuit that began in Hemet and ended in the Red Mountain area last Thursday. Riverside County Sheriff’s Department photos

Barnett and his passenger, 36-year-old Tarah Em Henry, led Task Force officials on a vehicle pursuit through the city of Hemet with Barnett driving without regard for the safety of other citizens or pursuing officers. He was seen running stop signs and stop lights, driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic and driving at high speed.

When the pursuit traveled out of the Hemet city limits and into the unincorporated area south of the city the pursuit was terminated, according to Paez, who said that before the chase was discontinued officials saw the fleeing felons toss a loaded firearm from their vehicle. Officials later found and recovered the handgun from the side of the roadway.

A short time later, a Riverside County Sheriff’s helicopter crew located Barnett’s vehicle abandoned near the 44000 block of Taffle Ranch Road, in the Red Mountain area northeast of Sage and Red Mountain roads.

Based on the new information, Task Force members and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies responded to the area and learned the pair had barricaded themselves in a nearby residence.

Task Force officials eventually convinced the pair to exit the residence, at which time both were taken into custody.

Subsequent records checks revealed that both Barnett and Henry were wanted felons, with Barnett having three felony warrants, which included a no bail parole violation and warrant for one of his prior felony evading convictions.

Henry was found to have a felony warrant for hit and run resulting in property damage, possession of a controlled substance, and transportation of narcotics for sales.

SEE ALSO: Temecula man released on bail after Lake Elsinore rape investigation leads to arrest

Both Barnett and Henry were later transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside where Barnett was booked on suspicion of recklessly evading officers, willful driving into oncoming traffic, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance while armed, possession of a controlled substance, being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition, resisting or obstructing arrest, DUI, and violation of state parole.

Online jail records indicate he remains in custody, where he is being held without bail.

Henry was booked on her felony warrant, which included charges of hit and run resulting in property damage, possession of a controlled substance, and transportation of narcotics for sales.

Online jail records indicate she remains in custody in lieu of $25,000 bail or bond.

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.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 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 18 grandchildren.