Riverside County News Round Up February 20-26 2020

News Roundup Wednesday February 19, 2020 to Wednesday February 26, 2020

Riverside County/Inland Empire

HEMET: 02-21-2020 Investigation of Triple Homicide in Hemet progresses with capture of two suspects in Nevada

New to the Chief position, but not new to the scene, Chief of Hemet PD, Eddie Pust released information about the tragic triple homicide that took place on Wednesday February 19, 2020 in Hemet, Ca. It’s with heavy hearts and yet, sighs of relief, that some Hemet residents are taking in the news that the alleged perpetrators of this horrific crime are in police custody in Nevada, awaiting extradition to California.

Chief Pust relayed pertinent information but kept some details close to the cuff in the biggest crime to take place in Hemet since he took on his new position as Chef of Police.

He identified the two suspects: Jordan Destinee Guzman (20) and her boyfriend Anthony Damion McCloud (18) who allegedly attacked three women and strangled and caused blunt force trauma to the victims which ultimately led to their deaths.

The victims are identified as Wendy Lopez-Araiza (46), Genesis Lopez-Ariaza (21) and Trinity Clyde (18). The murders occurred in a home in the 1400 block of Rabbit Peak. At around 8:50 pm on Wednesday, February 19, the husband of the oldest victim arrived home to find a victim lying in a pool of blood. It is believed that the suspects were still in the home when the man arrived to find the first victim.

The couple allegedly then stole a vehicle belonging to Trinity Clyde, the youngest of the three victims and fled. Ultimately, they were tracked and apprehended in Las Vegas, NV in the 1400 block of Charleston Boulevard, when they were attempting to leave that residence. Chief Pust declined to offer any insight into the way the car or the suspects were tracked to the location in Las Vegas.

Extradition to California could take a couple of weeks and as many as 25 days. Several events have been held in the community in remembrance of the victims including at the West Valley High School, where Clyde attended recently.

WASHINGTON D.C.: 02-25-2020 Congressional Representative for the 36th District Claims major part in Water Conservation grant for Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District

Raul Ruiz has claimed some of the credit for the award of a grant which will be earmarked for use in Water Conservation for the Beaumont – Cherry Valley Water District in the amount of 1.5 million dollars coming via a program implemented by the Bureau of Reclamation.

This after a September 25, 2019 letter written by the Congressman in support of the intrepid project designed by the water district.

You can read a copy of Ruiz’s letter HERE

CORONA: 02-26-2020 Unbeaten since he moved to Corona, Senior Wrestler Jesse Vasquez eyes a spot only 3 others in California history have attained

Jesse Vasquez has a chance to become only the fourth prep California Boy to be a state champion all four years of high school. Despite changing schools more than once, he has a legitimate shot at that, considering he is the #1 seed in the State CIF Championship that will be held February 27-29 in Stockton, California.

He is wrestling at the 145 lb. weight class in a bracket loaded with talent, but he is driven and confident. There are a few contenders, but he seems the odds-on favorite. His loss to the Ohio wrestling sensation Victor Voinovich in October meant he wouldn’t be crowned the best in the nation, by the premier prep wrestling media outlet Flo Wrestling – but that probably has spurred Jesse on to perform at an even higher level in Stockton tomorrow.

His recent win at the Ford sponsored CIF Masters tournament for the Southern Section against Luka Wick of San Marino High School will likely give him an additional push in the State championship. In the Master’s tournament in the 0:48 of the first period, Luka Wick suffered a knee injury, it’s not reported yet whether he is going to miss the State tournament, but with a conspicuous bye in the 54th bracket and the #4 seed assigned to Luke Gayer of Calvary Chapel who finished #3 in the Masters tournament for the Southern Section in California behind Jesse (#1) and Luka, it’s likely he will not compete.

The #2 seed at the state tournament is the very good Aaron Gandara from Poway High School a perennial powerhouse in wrestling since the 1990’s. They have numerous wrestlers in the tournament in 2020. The #3 seed is Jaden Le from Rancho Bernardo High, just minutes away from Poway high in North San Diego County. They too, have numerous wrestlers in the state tournament. Poway High is ranked #2 in the state and #15 in the nation as a program; Rancho Bernardo is #9 in the state.

As for Vasquez, nothing is a foregone conclusion in prep wrestling, but he has been decisive and nearly impossible to beat thus far. With three previous state titles, he seems poised to add a fourth after the tournament is wrapped on the evening of February 29th, 2020.

LAKE ELSINORE: 02-25-2020 State Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez outraises all the competition

Melissa Melendez has been in the state assembly since 2013 and has taken a new lead with regards to campaign money-raising. Amidst a crowded field of opposition democrats, she has managed to focus contributors’ thoughts on her continued presence at the state level. She raised more than $390,000 as of her latest filings.

Funds have been received by CA Realtor’s Assn. Real Estate PAC ($9300); The Riverside Sheriffs Association ($7700) and several tobacco companies including Phillip Morris ($9400).

It’s clear that the solid campaign finances and contributions along with a crowded, divided field of opposition make it a lot easier for Melendez to maintain a seat in the CA Assembly.

WILDOMAR: 02-25-2020 New plans for a Shooting Range are widely accepted by City Council and Community at large, it seems

The plans for a 38-foot-tall, two-story building that would house an indoor gun range have been approved by the Wildomar City Council (February 12, 2020) and the council seems very excited about it. Especially Ben Benoit, who seemed over the moon for the concept.

There have been in subsequent meetings, causes for concern raised about the increased traffic load, despite well laid out plans presented by city engineer, Dan York.  

The range will sit at the southeast corner of Bundy Canyon and Mission Trail. The overwhelming support from the community was evident, though not everyone is a fan.

PERRIS: 02-26-2020 New information in the triple homicide at a Perris Cemetery earlier this month

Riverside County Homicide detectives released information regarding a suspect in the killing of three men earlier in the month. The suspect is 33-year-old Jose Luis Torres Garcia and his vehicle is a Silver 2007 GMC Yukon with plates 8BKX913. They ask for anyone with information to contact 951-955-2777.

RIVERSIDE: 02-25-2020 Riverside County resident has tested positive for Coronavirus

A passenger that was on the quarantined Diamond Princess ship in Japan is a Riverside resident. Their identity is not being revealed, but Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser informed the community that the person is being monitored closely at Travis Air Force Base, and that there are no indicators at this time that there are exposures in Riverside County. The resident is expected to fully recover.

This on the day when Italy has officially stepped up their public reaction to more than 400 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, for which, “Patient X” has yet to be found. The Lombardy (the region encompassing Milan) and Veneto (the region encompassing Venice) areas are of particular interest as they have closed many public spaces banned certain activities and suspended normal celebrations including the Carnival in Venice.

RIVERSIDE: 02-20-2020 RCAHT Task Force Nabs 72 in Sex Crimes coordinated Sting

Anti-Human-Trafficking Advocates scored a win recently when the RCAHT (Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force) conducted a four-day operation in Temecula, Corona, Moreno Valley, Hemet and Palm Desert to curb prostitution and child sex trade activities in the Inland Empire. In all, 72 arrests were made – many with ties to human trafficking.

The two-fold goal was to nab illegal sex trade participants and to offer an opportunity to sex workers who were forced into the life to get an “out”. Obviously, some of the biggest wins are not going to be publicized, to ensure the safety of victims, but in statewide coordinated efforts, the numbers reported that 76 adults and 11 children were rescued out of human trafficking situations. Some of those are likely to have ties to the Riverside County operation.

The operation occurred between January 26, 2020, and February 1, 2020, with verifiable information getting out to media outlets just this past week. In total “the sting” included 10 agencies, 5 operations and netted 72 arrests.