A Norco man who tried to ram his car into the vehicle of two Riverside park rangers and fired a gun after being spotted making a drug deal has been arrested, police said.
Two Riverside park police specialists — unarmed civilians who patrol the parks — were roaming Bryant Park in the Riverside community of Arlanza on March 10 around 9:30 a.m. when a vehicle sped by them recklessly and met up with another car in a park parking lot, according to the Riverside Police Department.
The officers witnessed a brief interaction between the two vehicles, which then began to leave the lot when they saw the patrol specialists, according to police.
“As both cars were leaving the parking lot, one of the involved vehicles accelerated toward the [police truck] in an attempt to ram or strike them, but fortunately they were able to avoid being hit,” the department said in a press release Monday.
The two officers fled the scene and heard gunshots coming from the car that had tried to ram them, according to police.
They called for backup, but neither of the cars were immediately found.
Further investigation into the incident led the Riverside Police Department to a video that “confirmed one of the involved vehicles deliberately sped toward the specialists” and fired a gun — though police said the gun was not fired at the officers.
Police used search warrants that looked into social media accounts to identify the driver of the car that attempted to ram the police specialists as Juan Marcos Jimenez, 19, who had been arrested in August on narcotics and assault weapons possession charges, police said. There was also a boy in the car, though police said he was not believed to be responsible for the shooting.
When police officers went to arrest Jimenez in Norco on March 16, he attempted to flee “by intentionally ramming one of their vehicles, but he was safely taken into custody,” police said in the release.
Inside Jimenez’s car, police said they found 9 ounces of what’s suspected to be fentanyl, 120 ounces of marijuana, 19 ounces of Psilocybin mushrooms, hundreds of packages of marijuana and mushroom candy, a handgun, ammunition and cash.
Jimenez was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm, along with other charges, according to police.
He is currently being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center on $350,000 bail, authorities said.
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