MARIPOSA COUNTY — A pursuit along Mariposa County roads ended with damage to a Sheriff’s unit, and a suspect in custody, charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
On Sunday, June 11, at approximately 3:30 p.m., a Mariposa Area California Highway Patrol officer attempted to stop a speeding vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 49 South near the Mariposa/Madera County line, according to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office.
Due to the excessive speed and reckless driving of the suspect, the CHP officer lost sight of vehicle and radioed the incident and suspect vehicle description, which was sent to partnering law enforcement.
The vehicle, described as a yellow Dodge truck with Texas plates, was reportedly traveling at a very high rate of speed in an extremely erratic and dangerous manner.
Mariposa County Sheriff deputies responded to assist CHP in attempting to stop the fleeing suspect vehicle by using a “Stop-Stick” approximately one mile south of the town of Mariposa, but the suspect — Victor Moon, 28, of Shamrock, Texas, avoided the Stop-Sticks and sped away on side roads, says the Sheriff’s Office.
For the next thirty minutes, CHP and Sheriff’s deputies continued to maneuver and relocate in an attempt to stop the reckless driver.
During the ongoing cat-and-mouse pursuit, the suspect driver attempted to run over three officers — two Sheriff’s deputies and a CHP officer, according to the Sheriff’s Office. During one of these attempts, in the Silver Bar and Ben Hur area, a Mariposa County Sheriff’s sergeant fired twice at the rear tire of the suspect vehicle in attempt to disable and stop it. However, the vehicle fled away.
Finally, Moon was forcibly stopped by the sergeant, who channeled Moon’s vehicle from the highway as the suspect vehicle was driving dangerously toward oncoming traffic on Highway 49 North in the Bear Valley area of Mariposa County.
The California Highway Patrol and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office are conducting a joint investigation of this incident. The forcible stop done to avoid a head-on collision involving the suspect vehicle was also captured on the CHP dashcam.
At this time the Sheriff’s Office does not know what led Moon to drive so dangerously or why he was in the area.
“I am very pleased with the response and restraint shown by the deputies and CHP during this incident,” said Sheriff Doug Binnewies. “The maneuver done by our sergeant to stop the vehicle undoubtedly saved the lives of innocent people driving along Highway 49 North.”
Moon has been booked into the Mariposa County Adult Detention Facility on charges of:
245(A)(1) PC- Felony- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
245(C)PC – Felony- Assault With a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer
2800.2(A) VC- Felony- Reckless evading a Law Enforcement Officer
11550(A) HS- Misdemeanor- Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
23103(A)VC- Misdemeanor- Reckless Driving
His bail amount is currently set at $100,000.
The Mariposa County Sheriff’s sergeant will be placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure and protocol in all Officer Involved Shooting incidents.