RIVERSIDE (CNS) - A 23-year-old man accused of fleeing from Riverside police in a stolen vehicle and igniting a 330-acre fire that damaged homes in Jurupa Valley after crashing the car in a field was charged today with felony evading and other offenses.
Bryan Alexis Anguiano of Riverside was arrested, along with 28-year- old Kevin Alonso Hidalgo, last Thursday after the chase that ended at the west end of Flabob Airport, near 46th Street and Crestmore Road.
In addition to the evading count, Anguiano is charged with discarding burning material in a public right of way.
Anguiano is slated to make his initial court appearance this afternoon at the Riverside Hall of Justice. He's being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
Hidalgo was not charged in connection with the pursuit, but he is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside for alleged parole violations.
According to Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback, the chase began about 12:15 a.m. Thursday when Riverside police officers spotted a 2014 Dodge Dart reported stolen out of Riverside going northbound on Van Buren Boulevard and signaled the driver to pull over.
Railsback alleged that Anguiano refused to stop and sped away toward Jurupa Valley, where Riverside County sheriffs deputies joined the pursuit.
The defendant “drove over several curbs and fencing,” blowing car tires as he careened into a vacant field on the north edge of the Santa Ana River bottom, according to Railsback.
“It appears heat from the stolen vehicle's wheels ignited a fire underneath it,” the police spokesman said. “The car became fully engulfed and led to a vegetation fire in this field and river bottom area.”
Anguiano allegedly ran away as law enforcement officers established a perimeter, fleeing back into Riverside. He and Hidalgo were apprehended shortly after 1 a.m.
The fire quickly spread amid Santa Ana winds, prompting evacuations on multiple streets, as well as road closures and temporary flight restrictions around Flabob Airport.
Three residences and four outbuildings were significantly damaged, and two commercial buildings also sustained damage, according to county fire officials. On Sunday, yhe blaze was declared 100% contained.
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