Man shot by deputies after San Jacinto-to-Hemet chase denies attempted murder charges
A Moreno Valley parolee accused of leading sheriff’s deputies on a pursuit from San Jacinto to Hemet and then pulling a gun on them — prompting them to open fire and wound him — was charged Thursday with attempted murder and other felonies.
Juan Francisco Inzunza, 37, was arrested Sunday after the deputy-involved shooting that left him with a non-life-threatening injury.
Along with the attempted murder count, Inzunza is charged with eluding a peace officer, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and a sentence-enhancing allegation of committing a crime within five years of parole.
He’s being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside and has pleaded not guilty.
According to Riverside County sheriff’s officials, about 2 a.m. Sunday, the convicted felon was driving a red Ford Mustang at Cottonwood Avenue and State Street in San Jacinto when he made several erratic maneuvers that caught the attention of a deputy on patrol.
Deputy Mike Vasquez said the patrolman believed the defendant might be intoxicated and signaled him to stop. However, Inzunza sped away, heading south into Hemet, Vasquez alleged.
He said that the ex-con stopped minutes later at Florida Avenue and Warren Road, where two of the Mustang’s occupants emerged with their hands up, complying with deputies’ commands.
When Inzunza got out of the car, Vasquez said, he “pointed a handgun at the (deputies),” prompting the lawmen to open fire.
The ex-con suffered a minor wound and was treated at a hospital, then booked into jail, according to sheriff’s officials.
No deputies were injured.
According to court records, Inzunza has prior convictions for gun assault, reckless discharge of a firearm and driving under the influence.