Routine traffic stop by HPD leads to arrest
■ Melissa Diaz Hernandez / Editor
A San Jacinto man arrested for violating numerous weapons laws last September accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison on Sept. 15, almost a year after the incident. Several counts were dropped as a result of the guilty plea.
A traffic stop on Sept. 29, 2016 for expired registration in the area of Acacia Avenue and Girard Street by a Hemet Police K-9 unit led to the arrest of 20-year-old Kenneth Hurtado of San Jacinto, according to a news release by HPD’s Lt. Eric Dickson at the time of the incident. Hurtado was arrested after a brief foot chase and numerous weapons charges were filed.
The officer pulled the vehicle over into a nearby church parking lot, and asked the occupants of the vehicle to put their hands up because the officer recognized Hurtado, a wanted felon at the time, who had a rifle case on his lap with a large capacity magazine protruding from it, according to police.
Hurtado jumped out of the vehicle and fled; he was pursued by officers and K-9 Jack, who caught up to him only a few houses away from where the vehicle was pulled over. Hurtado was taken into custody after putting up a short fight with officers and the K-9 officer, police said.
Hurtado was taken to a local hospital for medical clearance and later transported to Riverside County Jail. He was arrested on the following charges: felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of high capacity magazines, and violation of parole. Hurtado was held without bail.
“The rifle case that had been on Hurtado’s lap contained a fully-loaded ‘mini 14’ style rifle, numerous high capacity magazines, and nearly 150 rounds of ammunition for the rifle,” said Dickson in the release. “Additionally, Hurtado had a fully-loaded, high capacity magazine for the rifle in his pocket when he was arrested.”
“This is a prime example of our failed justice system,” said Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown to The Valley Chronicle after Hurtado was sentenced. “This guy should have gone to prison a long time ago. Credit to our officers for their relentless pursuit of this violent criminal.”