EAST HEMET: People sleeping in car beaten, kicked during attempted carjacking

EAST HEMET — Two people who were sleeping inside their car on an East Hemet area street were jolted awake when two men dragged the driver out of the vehicle and began to beat, punch and kick him during an attempted carjacking early this morning, Friday, July 14. One person was apprehended after the attempted carjacking, that happened in the 42000 block of E. Whittier Avenue, near S. Meridian Street, in East Hemet.

“The victim in this incident, was transported to a local hospital and treated for the non-life threatening injuries he received during the altercation,” Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Reichle explained in a written press release after the violent incident.

One of the two suspects, later identified as Richard Ray Lester, 27, of Hemet, was apprehended and arrested after the incident. He was later booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning on suspicion of carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon.

He remains in custody, held on $60,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta July 18.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Hemet Station responded to the area about 6 a.m., after the two victims from the attempted carjacking managed to escape from their attackers and called 911 to report the incident.

After the victims managed to flee from the two men and hid a safe distance away, they watched as the suspects hooked a chain to their vehicle and began to tow the vehicle from the location.

Deputies arrived within minutes of the dispatched call and quickly spotted the two suspects trying to tow away their prize. Both men immediately jumped from their vehicle and fled from the area on foot.

Officials quickly established a perimeter around the area and began searching for the two men. Deputies conducting the search eventually located Lester and he was taken into custody.

“The second suspect remains outstanding,” said Reichle, who described the man as a “white male adult approximately 6’00” tall, heavy-set, with multiple tattoos on his arms.”

The investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to contact Deputy Craner at the Hemet Sheriff’s Station (951) 791-3400. Callers can refer to incident file number D171950009 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

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