Man tries to ram deputy, escapes after being fired at

Joe Silva. Valley News/Riverside County Sheriff’s Department courtesy photo

WILDOMAR – A sheriff’s deputy fired a weapon at a man who tried to run the deputy down with a pickup truck Tuesday morning in Wildomar.

The altercation took place a little before 10:30 a.m. in an area near Orange and Waite streets, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Juan Silva said.

The deputy was conducting an investigation on a stolen vehicle in that area when an adult male suspect assaulted the deputy with the vehicle — triggering the deputy to fire at the man — and fled, the sheriff’s department said on Twitter.

The deputy involved in the incident was not harmed, and it was unclear if the suspect had been hit by gunfire.

Per sheriff’s department policy, the involved deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave while Homicide detectives investigate the non-injury shooting.

According to Silva, the suspect was identified as 35-year-old Joe Sanchez of Lake Elsinore.

The vehicle Sanchez fled in was described as a late 1990s or early 2000s single-cab Ford pickup. Sheriff’s deputies were continuing to search for him Tuesday night.

The sheriff’s department said on Twitter that in addition to the Lake Elsinore area, Sanchez also has past addresses in the Angels Camp area, near Stockton.

Silva said Sanchez has made statements threatening that “he will be shot by a cop before going back to prison.”

Anyone who may locate Sanchez was warned not to approach him, and to immediately contact sheriff’s homicide investigators at 951-955-0896 or sheriff’s department dispatch at 951-776-1099 option 5.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at

9 p.m. Tuesday: This story was updated with a suspect description and additional details from the Riverside a County Sheriff’s Department.
1:30 p.m. Tuesday: 
This story was updated with additional information from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.