LA QUINTA – A La Quinta sheriff’s deputy was injured and hospitalized Friday morning, April 7, while trying to apprehend a woman who was caught burglarizing one home before fleeing from authorities and barricading herself inside a second home, according to sheriff officials.
The suspect, who was later identified as 26-year-old, La Quinta area transient, Priscilla Ayala, was injured while being apprehended with assistance from a sheriff’s K-9, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Paul Herrera explained in a written press release after the incident.
After an investigation, deputies arrested Ayala for burglary-related charges. She was booked into the Riverside County Jail in Indio.
The incident began in the 53-800 block of Avenida Bermudas just southwest of Tradition Golf Club and ended about one-half mile away in the 52-900 block of Avenida Navarro.
Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s La Quinta Police Station responded to a report of an open door and possible burglary in progress at the Avenida Bermudas address about 10 a.m.
Deputies quickly arrived at the home and conducted a thorough search of the residence and surrounding area; however they were initially unable to locate the suspect.
During their investigation, deputies learned that when the victim returned home to her residence, she noticed that her front door was open. The victim also said when she looked into the home, she saw an unknown female inside her residence.
While continuing to search the area, deputies spotted Ayala, at which time she fled from them on foot.
With deputies hot on her heals, Ayala then “unlawfully entered” another residence located in the 52-900 block of Avenida Navarro.
During the incident, “an officer was injured while attempting to apprehend the suspect,” Herrera explained. “The officer was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for his injury.”
Officials did not specify the nature or extent of the deputy’s injury or if the deputy has been released from the hospital.
After bursting into the Avenida Navarro residence, Ayala immediately locked the door and would not follow deputies’ orders for her to exit the residence.
Deputies established a perimeter around the home and surrounding neighborhood to ensure Ayala’s capture.
Deputies eventually entered the residence; however they did not find Ayala during a subsequent search of the home.
Deputies began searching the surrounding area and conducted a yard-to-yard search with assistance from a K-9.
Ayala was eventually located hiding inside a nearby shed. Even after being located, Ayala refused to exit the shed and continued to refuse deputies’ orders
The K-9 was eventually sent into the shed to assist in apprehending the uncooperative woman. With the K-9’s assistance, deputies arrested Ayala, who received minor injuries while being taken into custody.
“Ayala sustained injuries from the apprehension by the K-9 Officer,” Herrera explained.
Officials did not specify the nature or extent of Ayala’s injuries.
After her capture and arrest, Ayala was transported to a hospital and treated for injuries she received during her apprehension by the K-9.
An online jail records search indicated Ayala had not yet completed the booking process.
The search revealed that Ayala was arrested in February for trespassing. The trespassing case against Ayala is ongoing and her next scheduled court appearance is at the Indio Larson Justice Center April 13, just six days from today.
A Superior Court records search revealed Ayala has several previous arrests in Riverside County, including a 2016 arrest for possession of a controlled substance. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to participate in a drug diversion program.
Ayala had another 2016 arrest for shoplifting, petty theft and failure to appear. She pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of petty theft and was sentenced to three years summary probation.
She was also arrested in 2015 for embezzlement, grand theft and failure to appear. She pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of grand theft and was sentenced to three years summary probation.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Deputy Scott at (760) 863-8990, or they can remain anonymous by calling Valley Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-STOP (7867). Callers can refer to incident file number LA170970024 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.