A convicted felon accused of shooting at sheriff’s deputies on the Morongo Indian Reservation, where he barricaded himself in a home for hours before surrendering, pleaded not guilty Friday to attempted murder of a peace officer and other charges.
Michael Dennis Duran, 52, of Banning was arrested Sunday following the alleged armed confrontation, which began with a pursuit.
Along with the attempted murder count, Duran is charged with assault on a peace officer using a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of a loaded gun, with a sentence-enhancing allegation of committing a crime while on bail.
Duran was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for April 13 at the Banning Justice Center.
Hollenhorst ordered Duran held without bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Carroll, about 5:15 p.m. Sunday, Duran allegedly fired a gun several times in the area of Chino and Ramon roads, on the north end of the reservation, for reasons still under investigation.
Patrol deputies were called to the area and encountered Duran driving away, at which point they attempted to stop him, but he sped off, Carroll alleged.
Deputies chased Duran westbound for two miles, until he stopped at a residence in the 12100 block of Morongo Road, just north of Interstate 10, east of Banning, Carroll said.
“The pursuit concluded (and) the suspect shot at the deputies,” Carroll said.
No one was injured.
Duran allegedly ran inside the house and locked the doors while armed. Carroll said an alert was broadcast that deputies had come under fire, resulting in personnel from several law enforcement agencies converging on the location to assist, along with sheriff’s SWAT team members.
“A perimeter was established around the residence, and all surrounding homes were evacuated,” Carroll said. “Several unsuccessful attempts were made to have the suspect exit the residence.”
Members of the sheriff’s bomb squad used a remote-controlled robot to forcibly enter the house.
“The robot located the suspect, who eventually surrendered to deputies,” Carroll said.
Duran, who was not injured, was taken into custody at 10 p.m.
Carroll said Duran is not a member of the Morongo tribe, but there was no explanation for why he was on the reservation.
According to court records, the offenses associated with Duran’s earlier arrest, in January — for which he was on bail — allegedly involved being under the influence of a controlled substance and carrying an assault rifle.
Duran has prior convictions for felony driving under the influence, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and felony evading, records show.
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