Hemet: April 28 at approximately 7:00 pm, Hemet Fire Department responded to an officer involved traffic collision at the intersection of Acacia Ave and Palm Ave. According to witnesses, the elderly driver traveling northbound on Palm Ave, failed to yield to the HPD cruiser that was traveling eastbound on Acacia Ave.
Both the officer and the other party involved suffered minor injuries. After the collision, a subject approached the officer in the crashed cruiser and began screaming and yelling obscenities at him.
Gary Rainwater, witness and Hemet News reporter, approached the man and ordered him to stand down. The man complied and walked away but not before insulting and taking pictures of Mr. Rainwater.
On Wednesday evening, April 12, 2017, officers with the Temecula Police Department responded to a carjacking that occurred in front of a residence within the city. The victim was seated in his pickup truck, in his driveway, when a white male adult brandished a handgun and demanded the vehicle. The suspect escaped in the victim’s vehicle. The victim was not physically harmed. Detectives assumed the investigation, but neither the suspect nor the stolen vehicle were immediately located.
On Saturday, April 22, 2017, shortly after 2:00 PM, officers received a report of a stolen motorcycle in the 42000 block of Orange Blossom Dr., Temecula. Responding officers discovered white male adult suspect left a pickup truck with the victim, as collateral, while he “test drove” a motorcycle this victim had advertised for sale on the internet.
When the suspect never returned with the motorcycle, the victim notified police. Officers determined the pickup truck left at the residence was the same vehicle stolen in the carjacking incident on April 12, and the suspect matched the same description.
At approximately 7:44 PM, officers with the San Jacinto Police Department, along with assistance from the Sheriff’s helicopter, located the stolen motorcycle at a private residence in the 2000 block of Tall Grass Ct., San Jacinto.
The suspect, identified as 28 year-old Ryan Wilhite, of Murrieta, was taken into custody. Temecula Police detectives determined Wilhite was responsible for both the carjacking and the theft of the motorcycle.
Wilhite was booked at the Southwest Detention Center for both crimes, and both vehicles were recovered and processed for evidence.
Anyone with information about either of these incidents is encouraged to contact Detective Jeff Fisher of the Temecula Police Department at (951) 696-3000.
Hemet police officers closed down all lanes of traffic on Florida Avenue, between S. Hamilton and S. Western Avenues during the ruptured gas main emergency.Eddie George Photos
HEMET- A major roadway through Hemet was shut down for several hours after a vehicle crashed into a high-pressure, above-ground, main gas line. Florida Avenue between S. Western and S. Hamilton Avenues in Hemet was closed while firefighters and Southern California Gas Company crews worked to shut down the broken gas main.
Within minutes of the crash, citizens began calling 911 and taking to social media to report hearing a loud boom, followed within minutes by a heavy gas smell in their nearby neighborhoods.
Hemet Firefighters were dispatched to a closed tire business about 10:13 p.m., in the 1000 block of Florida Avenue, after several 911 callers reported the accident and gas leak to City of Hemet emergency dispatchers.
The first fire personnel arrived at the scene of the accident about 10:15 p.m., just two minutes after they were initially dispatched the call. Within moments, officials confirmed a vehicle had crashed into the high-pressure, above ground, gas main and that gas was spewing out of the ruptured line at high velocity.
Within minutes of arriving at the scene of the gas leak, on-scene fire personnel requested assistance from Hemet PD officers, who were needed to help with traffic and crowd control.
The first of numerous officers and a patrol supervisor arrived at the scene less than 30 seconds later.
Firefighters at the scene requested expedited response from Southern California Gas Company employees, who were needed to shut off gas flow to the ruptured gas line.
When officers began arriving in the area to assist, they reported a major, very loud rupture, with heavy smell of gas in the area. Officers coordinated with firefighters to determine a safe distance away from the location in the event that victims needed to be evacuated.
During the incident, officers assisted by closing off all lanes of traffic on Florida Avenue, between S. Hamilton and S. Western Avenues. They also helped with crowd control as many residents came out of their nearby homes to inquire about the loud hissing sound from the ruptured line and the smell of gas permeating through their neighborhoods.
Southern California Gas Company employees arrived a the scene shortly before 11 p.m. Within 10 minutes, gas company employees advised it would take their workers about 45 minutes to fully shut down gas to the line and mitigate the danger to surrounding citizens and businesses. Workers at the scene requested a supervisor respond to the location to assist.
By 11:30 p.m., Hemet based social media pages were buzzing with people asking questions about the heavy gas smell in their neighborhoods, as well as how the incident happened and what officials were doing to resolve the problem.
A Southern California Gas Company supervisor arrived a the location just before midnight and was expected to be able to assist in quickly shutting down flow to the ruptured gas line.
At 12:07 a.m., officials reopened the eastbound lanes of traffic on Florida Avenue. The westbound lanes were expected to open soon.
However, two and one half hours after the accident and ruptured gas main were reported, due to unspecified complications, gas was still spewing out of the damaged line.
Shortly after 12:30 a.m., with no estimated time frame available for the emergency to be mitigated from Southern California Gas Company, City of Hemet police volunteers were summoned to the scene to relieve officers to handle patrol calls for service.
Officers also requested City Roads respond to the area with hard barricades for the prolonged and indefinite road closure.
This is a developing story. Updated information will be provided as it becomes available.
Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.
STORY BY LAURIE CAIN Approximately 3:25pm today Thurs March 30th there was two 911 callers that called 911 and said they heard three shotgun blast from 1300 West Menlo space 189 in Hemet, CA
HPD, CHP and gang units surrounded the house and tried six attempts to get the people to come outside but no one answered!
Officers kicked in the front door cleared the house and nobody was there, after talking with the neighbors that heard the gunshots they don't know how they got away. Officers then checked underneath the house and everything was code 4
Story. pictures and videos by Hemet News Reporter Gary Rainwater.