On Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 12:03 a.m., a Riverside Police officer made a traffic stop off of Blackhawk Road in Riverside. As the officer approached the vehicle, he could smell cannabis emanating from the vehicle. The offender then fled onto Riverside Road past the police station and eventually crashed into a tree at Swan Pond off Burling Road. No injuries occurred as a result of the crash.
The passenger was quickly apprehended. The driver, a male black offender, fled on foot. As he fled on foot, he dropped a full-loaded semi-automatic handgun with a barrel-extended magazine holding 53 rounds. Officers set up a perimeter and using both helicopters and canines searched the area but were unsuccessful in locating the offender.
Approximately 45 minutes to an hour later, Riverside Police received a call that a resident in the 200 block of Scottswood had let a male, shirtless offender use their phone. The suspect came to the home and asked the homeowner's family members if he could use a phone to get picked up. It was believed that he was either picked up by a friend or an Uber which one is not clear yet. Police were able to trace the phone calls that he made to his girlfriend and have now identified the suspect.
Riverside detectives will be seeking this offender over the next week or so. He is an extremely violent individual who is on parole for attempted homicide conviction.
Riverside Police cannot release any more information at this time because no arrest has been made.
However, Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel stated the following, “I want our residents to know that they should call 911 anytime someone comes to their home that they do not know. While the resident thought he was helping him, this individual was a violent criminal and hiding from police who had been searching for him for over 45 minutes. I am very thankful the resident was not injured but this certainly was a recipe for disaster. While Riverside Police did recover a fully-automatic handgun, it is not known if he had a second handgun on him during the time he was asking the Riverside resident for assistance. Again, I ask residents to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity or people in their neighborhood and Riverside Police will fully investigate.”
The vehicle that crashed into a tree at the Swan Pond Park crashed on its own. There was never any contact with Riverside Police vehicles nor was there any contact with any other police agency. The driver simply lost control of his vehicle and struck the tree.
Riverside Police will release more details on this case once an arrest is made.