Hemet: High Speed Pursuit Leads to Crash and Two Arrested

hpdThe evening of August 17, 2016 at about 7:14 pm, a routine traffic stop turned into high speed chase on the streets of Hemet when officers attempted to pull over a Dodge Durango occupied by two individuals.

The driver, Justin Leon, a 30 year old Hemet resident was on probation for vehicle theft and the passenger, Michael Kaphan was on parole for participation in a criminal street gang. The suspect led police on a pursuit driving through the streets at high speeds before crashing through a gate and fence in the area of Juanita St and Oakland Ave.

The pursuit ended when the suspect’s vehicle became disabled due to the crash. The suspect and passenger attempted to run on foot but were quickly apprehended by Hemet Police Officers. A crowd of people, including children, gathered around the gate on the 600 block of N Buena Vista St, where police were active in the removal of the disabled SUV.

During the pursuit, the driver attempted to ram a police vehicle but fortunately the Officer was able to perform an evasive maneuver and avoided the collision. Police had the scene cleared at around 8:00 pm and both men were arrested and transported to Riverside County Jail.

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From Hemet Police Department:

Vehicle Pursuit Leads to Arrest of Two Hemet Men.

On Wednesday, August 17th, at about 7:14 PM, a Hemet Police Officer attempted to make a traffic stop on a Dodge Durango for a vehicle code violation, when the Durango failed to stop and a vehicle pursuit was initiated. The pursuit concluded when the driver of the Durango rammed through a gate and fences in the area of Juanita St. and Oakland Ave. and the vehicle became disabled. The two male occupants attempted to flee on foot but were quickly apprehended by responding units. During the pursuit, the driver of the Durango attempted to ram a police unit, but evasive driving action was taken to avoid this attack. Both the driver and passenger were arrested and transported to Riverside County Jail.

Arrested: Justin Leon 
30 Years old 
Residence-City of Hemet 
Probation for Vehicle Theft
Charges: Felony Evasion, Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer, Vandalism, Violation of Probation. 
Bail: $100,000

Arrested: Michael Kaphan 
24 Years old 
Residence-City of Hemet 
Parole for Participation in a Criminal Street Gang 
Charges: Violation of Parole Warrant 
Bail: No Bail


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