Domestic violence sweep nets 11 in Hemet
The Hemet Police Department participated in the 15th annual National Family Violence Apprehension Detail on Oct. 19, is a nationwide sweep involving law enforcement agencies from across the United States. The goal of the sweep is to serve outstanding family violence warrants and to demonstrate to offenders that they will be held accountable for their actions. This year, the Hemet Police Department teamed up with the Riverside County Probation Department to attempt service of 37 outstanding family violence warrants. The teams were able to locate and arrest 11 of their suspects – one of them following a short vehicle pursuit that wound through portions of southwest Hemet. The Hemet Police Officers assigned to this detail were a direct result of Measure U, allowing the department to participate in this extremely valuable sweep without taking any resources from our patrol bureau.
According to a report by Riverside County News Source, some of those arrested during the sweep include: Quintell Dominicus Harden, 37, the subject who allegedly led officers on the pursuit; Rudy Mejia, 25, Andre DyShawn Childress, 28; Daniel Anthony Gamez, 24; Cory J. Smith, 28; Aaron John Garcia, 25; and Jose Efrain Perez, 25. Those arrested were booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. As of press time, all those arrested with the exception of Harden were released on bond. Harden remained in custody as of Monday evening. People seeking protection from domestic violence are encouraged to call Alternatives for Domestic Violence at 800-339-7233 (SAFE).
Tow truck driver killed by alleged drunk driver
Towing specialist Kyle Crull died on Oct. 21 at Inland Valley Trauma Center after being struck by an alleged drunk driver. At the time of the incident, Crull was providing roadside assistance to a AAA member who had broken down on the Temecula Parkway off ramp of I-15 in Temecula. Crull worked for DJ’s Towing and performed services for members of Automobile Club of Southern California. DJ’s Towing and Crull’s family would like to thank the California Highway Patrol and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for their support during this difficult time for the family and tow company.
A memorial has been established for Crull’s 12-year-old daughter at www.gofundme.com/kyle-crull-memorial-fund. A procession will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. at Miller Jones Mortuary, 26770 Murrieta Road in Sun City. A celebration of Crull’s life will be held immediately afterward at Murrieta Development, 42540 Rio Nedo Road, Temecula.
Firefighters knock down Domenigoni Road vegetation fire
A fast-moving vegetation fire on the north side of Domenigoni Parkway near Patterson Avenue in Winchester broke out at around 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23. According to Hemet Fire Chief Scott Brown, the fire was limited to about three acres, however, other reports state that the blaze charred nearly seven acres.
It took more than 80 firefighters about 30 minutes to knock down the blaze, which forced the closure of the No. 2 westbound lane of Domenigoni Parkway, and according to witnesses, traffic was backed up for more than a mile. Firefighters were performing mop-up operations for several hours.
Firefighters from seven engine companies and one truck company responded to the fire, explained Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Jody Hagemann in an incident report. Three inmate fire crews, a helicopter that dropped water onto the flames, and a bulldozer also responded to assist. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Tip-a-cop benefits Special Olympics
The Hemet Police Department in conjunction with Red Robin hosted their annual Tip-A-Cop Night on Thursday, Oct. 19, from 5-9 p.m. at the Hemet Red Robin, located at 1900 W. Florida Ave. Hemet Police Officers and volunteers were on hand greeting people, serving drinks, helping servers, and raising money for Special Olympics. All proceeds raised for our Special Olympians stay local so they can compete in various sporting events throughout the year.
Tip-A-Cop generates community goodwill and public awareness for law enforcement and the Special Olympics. Tip-A-Cop is a no risk, easy and fun way to raise money for Special Olympic athletes in your community.
Special Olympics Southern California provides year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. By participating in sports, physical fitness and healthcare education programs, Special Olympic California athletes increase self-confidence, social skills, improves motor skills, and have a better success in leading more productive and independent lives.
TSheriff’s department receives grant for contract cities
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) was awarded a $1,688,994 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcement and public awareness effort to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries. The RCSD will use the funding as part of our ongoing commitment to keep contract cities’ roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.
After falling to a 10 year low in 2010, the number of persons killed on roadways climbed nearly 17 percent across the state, with 3,429 fatalities in 2015. Particularly alarming is the rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities that now comprise nearly 25 percent of all traffic deaths, along with the dangers associated with the growing number of distracting technologies. This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other traffic safety problems, including drug and alcohol impaired driving, speeding and a wide variety of unsafe and illegal driving.
“Unsafe behaviors account for 94 percent of traffic crashes,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “This grant emphasizes the two most effective ways to change behaviors – education and enforcement. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the Office of Traffic Safety, will use these tools to help keep all contract cities streets serviced by the Sheriff’s Department safe.”
The grant will fund educational presentations, DUI checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols and the following enforcement programs: bicycle and pedestrian safety, motorcycle safety, distracted driving, seat belt and child safety seat, speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement.
Additionally, warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders and a compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders, and specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) will occur.
While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, Sheriff Stan Sniff supports the new effort from OTS that aims to drive awareness that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Prescription medications and marijuana can impair a driver and can lead to a DUI arrest, even if no alcohol has been consumed.
Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.