Armed kidnapping suspect eludes deputies at Morongo casino’s property in Cabazon
By Staff report
Riverside Sheriff’s Department searched the property of the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa in Cabazon for several hours after a man wanted out of Cathedral City was spotted on casino property, officials said; however the 22-year-old was not found.
Around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, sheriff’s officials were alerted by casino staff that Enrique Jose Luis Fernandez, 22, who has an active arrest warrant for armed kidnapping, was spotted in the casino’s pool area, according to sheriff’s and Morongo Casino authorities.
“Out of an abundance of caution, security directed guests to leave the pool area and contacted law enforcement,” said Michael Fisher, spokesman for the casino, in an email.
After a systematic search for Fernandez, sheriff’s authorities say deputies concluded their search around 8:30 a.m. Friday.
The search focused on outbuildings on the property near the pool area and did not extend into the casino itself, said Deputy Michael Vasquez, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department.
Late last month, Fernandez is accused of confronting a man he believed was involved with a woman Fernandez was also seeing, according to Cathedral City police. Police say he threatened the man with a handgun and forced the unidentified man around a parking lot.
“Public safety is our top priority at Morongo,” Fisher said in a statement. “We want to thank our guests for their cooperation during this matter, and the Sheriff’s Department for its prompt and professional response.”
Authorities are still seeking Fernandez.