A 28-year-old man accused of fleeing from sheriff’s deputies in a stolen van while drunk in San Jacinto, leading to a multi-vehicle wreck that left four people injured, was charged Friday with eluding law enforcement officers and other offenses.
Juan Alonso Perez of San Jacinto was arrested Tuesday following the pursuit that ended near downtown Hemet.
Along with three counts of eluding, Perez is charged with auto theft, felony driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, possession of burglary tools and a sentence-enhancing allegation of causing multiple injuries in a DUI collision.
He’s being held on $500,000 bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning and is slated to make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon at the Banning Justice Center.
According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Mix, Perez was spotted by a patrol unit about 2:40 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Main Street and Mistletoe Avenue, allegedly at the wheel of a 2020 Chrysler van that had been reported stolen hours earlier.
Mix alleged that when deputies signaled the parolee to pull over, he floored the van instead, speeding south into Hemet.
“The suspect fled from law enforcement … in a reckless manner, including running stop signs and driving into oncoming traffic,” the sergeant said.
Pursuing deputies backed out of the chase for pubic safety, and a sheriff’s helicopter crew began tracking Perez from overhead, according to Mix.
He said that the defendant lost control at the intersection of Menlo and Palm avenues, hitting four cars and leaving the sedan inoperable, at which point he gave up.
Perez was not hurt, but according to court documents, four people — two men and two women — in the other vehicles suffered moderate to major injuries. They were taken to hospitals for treatment and are recovering.
Records show Perez has prior convictions for felony eluding, possession of controlled substances and perpetrating gang-related offenses while on bail.
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