Driver, 23, doing donuts in Moreno Valley arrested after allegedly fleeing, striking and injuring deputies

A 23-year-old man was taken into custody after fleeing Riverside County sheriff’s deputies and striking a patrol car in an incident that left deputies with minor injuries in Moreno Valley, authorities said.

The incident happened Tuesday morning, May 10, just after midnight when deputies in a marked patrol vehicle saw a Nissan doing donuts in the intersection of Alessandro Boulevard and Lasselle Street, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release. Despite the deputies’ attempt to initiate a traffic stop for reckless driving, the driver of the Nissan continued to do donuts, authorities said.

The driver then fled the area at a high rate of speed through residential streets, the Sheriff’s Department said. As the pursuit continued, the suspect then made a U-turn, turned off his car’s headlights and drove toward two patrol vehicles, forcing them to swerve to avoid being struck head-on, sheriff’s officials said.

When more patrol cars joined the pursuit, the suspect drove through a red light in the intersection of Lasselle and Bay Avenue and crashed into a marked patrol vehicle that was traveling through a green light, authorities said. The suspect then fled the scene on foot before being found in a nearby backyard, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Two sheriff’s deputies sustained minor injuries in the crash, sheriff’s officials said.

The driver was identified as Ramiro Benitez-Jimenez of Moreno Valley and he was arrested on suspicion of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer, authorities said.

“Taking over streets, destroying intersections, and driving at excessive speeds is dangerous and a serious threat to other motorists, pedestrians, and our community,” the Sheriff’s Department said in the press release. “No one should be killed or injured because someone wants to show off.”

Anyone with information about the incident was encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Department at 951-486-6700.

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