A 52-year-old convicted felon with an outstanding warrant for his arrest allegedly led Menifee police on a brief chase that ended with the vehicle the suspect was driving crashing and flipping over, leaving him injured, authorities said Tuesday.
Zelia Merian Murphy III of Riverside was taken into custody and hospitalized Monday following the pursuit that ended shortly after 8 p.m. in the area of Bradley and Desert Hills roads.
According to Menifee police Capt. Dave Gutierrez, about 8 p.m., patrol officers cruising the area of Newport Road and Calle Tomas spotted a vehicle that had been reported stolen and signaled the driver — Murphy — to pull over.
However, the suspect allegedly sped away southbound, and patrol units gave chase, Gutierrez said.
After fleeing for several blocks, Murphy “lost control” and struck a raised curb at Bradley and Desert Hills, “causing the car to flip onto its roof,” he said.
No other vehicles were involved.
Riverside County Fire Department crews extricated the suspect, who was taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. He remained hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday.
Gutierrez said that once he’s medically cleared, Murphy will be booked into jail on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and eluding a law enforcement officer.
A records check showed that he has an active arrest warrant in connection with a 2019 case that allegedly involved assault resulting in great bodily injury and domestic violence, according to Gutierrez.
Court documents show that Murphy has a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, for which he served time in state prison.