On 8-1-2013 at about 5:00 PM, Hemet Police Officer Bryan Cunningham attempted a traffic stop on a white Ford Expedition for a red light violation near the area of Sanderson Avenue and Devonshire Avenue. The driver of the vehicle, Manuel Cazessus, sped away, refusing to yield. Officer Cunningham initiated a vehicle pursuit.
Speeds reached 80 to 90 miles per hour as Cazessus drove east on Menlo Avenue toward Kirby Street. Due to the high speeds, traffic conditions, and the initial violation being a minor traffic violation, the officer and his supervisors decided to terminate the pursuit 50 seconds after it began.
Gang Task Force officers, also in the area, located a passenger of the suspect vehicle walking near Fruitvale Avenue and Buena Vista Street after the pursuit had been terminated. Additional Hemet PD officers continued to check the area, and found the suspect vehicle abandoned in the 500 block of E. Fruitvale Avenue.
Hemet Police Officers quickly located Cazessus hiding in a pile of trash on the patio of a nearby apartment.
Hemet Police Dispatch later received a call from an alert witness who saw Cazessus throw a gun out the window just before the pursuit was initiated. Officers responded immediately and recovered a loaded handgun wrapped in a blue bandana.