A hearing was set for Thursday for a parolee accused of leading law enforcement officers on a chase in a stolen vehicle from San Jacinto to the Banning Pass, colliding with cars on Interstate 10 before surrendering.
Felony evading and other charges were filed Wednesday against Noel Avalos, 28. He was arrested Saturday afternoon following the hour-long pursuit.
Along with the evading count, Avalos is charged with auto theft, receiving stolen property and parole violations. He was being held without bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, and was slated to make his initial court appearance Thursday at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
About 10:30 a.m. Saturday, patrol deputies on the north side of San Jacinto spotted a car reported stolen earlier in the day and signaled the driver — later identified as Avalos — to stop, according to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Wade Lenton.
Lenton alleged that the transient floored the vehicle instead, initially heading in one direction, then another.
Five minutes later, the deputies pulled out of the chase due to concern for public safety and handed it off to a sheriff’s helicopter crew based at Hemet-Ryan Airport, who trailed the driver from above.
He said Avalos steered north on Highway 79, going into the Banning Pass, where he went westbound on I-10.
“A California Highway Patrol officer initiated a pursuit of the vehicle until it collided with several civilian vehicles on I-10,” Lenton said.
The stolen car became inoperable, and Avalos surrendered, according to Lenton, who said no one was injured during the pursuit.
According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions in San Bernardino County for making criminal threats and auto theft.
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