Suspect escapes sheriff’s deputies after pursuit from Temecula to Aguanga

tow truck
A tow truck driver recovers a stolen truck and trailer Wednesday, April 1. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

An unidentified suspect led sheriff’s deputies on a pursuit from Temecula into unincorporated Aguanga, then tried to ram the deputies with his car – causing them to fire their weapons – before managing to escape on foot, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

It all began a little before 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, April 1, when patrolling deputies were alerted to a call about a stolen trailer in Temecula, according to sheriff’s representative Megan McDonald. The deputies found the vehicle of a suspect near the intersection of Rancho California and Margarita roads and tried to get the driver to pull over.

The driver did not stop and instead fled from officers, sending them on a lengthy chase that ended up near rural Aguanga some 30 miles to the east.

The suspect tried to run two deputies down with his vehicle near Tule Peak Road and Eastgate Trail, and the deputies fired at the man, McDonald said. He managed to bail out of his car and run away. Investigators are still working to identify the suspects.

Per department policy, the two deputies involved in the non-injury shooting were placed on administrative leave, and homicide detectives were investigating the incident.

Anyone with additional information on the suspect was asked to call detectives at (951) 955-2277, or sheriff’s dispatchers at (951) 776-1099, option 5.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at