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Man Allegedly Attacks Wife in Banning, Carjacks Fiat, Leads Chase to Yucaipa

Incident was reported on eastbound I-10 at 8th Street exit about 12:40 p.m. Sunday and ended about 1:50 p.m. when a California Highway Patrol officer forced suspect to stop at Live Oak Canyon Road, according to Banning police and CHP.

A Barstow man allegedly attacked his wife in a vehicle Sunday on Interstate 10 in Banning, carjacked a Fiat 500, led the CHP on a pursuit to an off-ramp in Yucaipa, and ran into freeway traffic in an apparent suicide attempt, authorities said Monday.

Van Henry Moncrief Jr., 31, stepped into the path of a Mercedes in the fast lane, sustained "a glancing blow," and was arrested on suspicion of four felonies including attempted murder, according to the California Highway Patrol and inmate records.

CHP officers used a Taser to take Moncrief into custody, Darren Meyer of the San Gorgonio Pass CHP said. Moncrief was held Monday in Riverside and his bail was listed at $1 million.

The incident began about 12:40 p.m. Sunday when Banning police received a report of a vehicle off the road at the eastbound 10 and the 8th Street exit.

As officers responded they learned a woman inside the vehicle was being attacked by a man, Banning police said in a statement.

When Banning police and CHP officers arrived, "there was an additional victim that witnessed the vehicle drive off the roadway and he stopped to help," police said.

"When this elderly male approached the vehicle to help, he found a male adult choking a female adult inside the vehicle," police said.

The witness confronted the aggressor, who released the woman, turned and attacked the witness, and knocked the witness to ground, police said.

The suspect then took the elderly man's car and fled before law enforcement arrived, according to police and CHP accounts.

"Shortly after the suspect carjacked the second victim, CHP spotted the vehicle driving westbound on the I-10 freeway," police said.

The carjacked vehicle was a gold 2011 or 2012 Fiat 500, Meyer said.

A pursuing CHP officer executed a PIT maneuver to stop the Fiat at the top of the Live Oak Canyon-Oak Glen Road off-ramp in Yucaipa, Meyer said.

The suspect, who "stated to dispatchers he was suicidal," got out of the Fiat, jumped down an embankment, landed in some bushes, and ran into traffic, Meyer said.

He stood in the fast lane on the 10 waiting for a car to hit him and taunting motorists, Meyer said.

A motorist in a Mercedes could not avoid him, the suspect sustained a glancing blow, got back on his feet, and as CHP officers closed in he "yells that he has a gun . . . as he's running down the freeway," Meyer said.

CHP officers shot him with a Taser stun gun and took him into custody, Meyer said.

The pursuit was over at 1:49 p.m. and the suspect, identified as Moncrief, was arrested at 1:52 p.m., according to Meyer and inmate records.

It was determined Moncrief is married to the woman he allegedly attacked, police said.

The alleged attack began while they were traveling in the moving vehicle on the 10, which resulted in the vehicle leaving the roadway and crashing into some vegatation at or near the 8th Street off-ramp, Banning police Chief Leonard Purvis said in a phone interview.

The woman was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs for treatment of injuries that were not considered life-threatening, Purvis said. An update on her condition was not available Monday.

Moncrief was booked on suspicion of carjacking, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, cruelty on a dependent adult with great bodily injury, and attempted murder, according to inmate records. He was held Monday at Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside. He has a court appearance scheduled Wednesday in Banning.

The 8th Street junction with the 10 in Banning is about 15 miles east of the Live Oak Canyon Road exit in Yucaipa, and about 85 miles east of Los Angeles.

destiny April 11, 2012 at 01:34 PM
and somalya we all know its u playin eric for one you are talking to highly of yourself and are so full of yourself as you usually are i feel sorry that you daughter has to deal with someone like you but you will get yours payback is a bitch and im married to her sister karma
concerned citizen April 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
WOW! You people are really nuts. Again you over look the fact that he attacked an elderely man, could have killed him, and stole his car. I don't care how upset he was. Everyone gets very upset at times. You do not go and do what he did. I don't care if he was in the military, cop, fireman, president of the US. Its obvious you defenders of his all have the criminal mentality, period!
DERIK TRICE April 11, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Okay! I am his best friend/ brother from another mother! I have been around this man since we were 5 years of age! I know him better than he knows him self! He is not a gang member! My mother & father ( who gross over $200,000) took him in & helped raise him for over 15 years! There are over 20 children that know him as uncle V.J. His has never hit a child nor female to my knowledge! I seen a woman hit him with a little Blue Dodger Bat when we 20 years old, & all he did was cry! With that being said do you honestly think that this man who has served this messed up country, TWICE, would come back to the states to act like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde! I am still in shock that he even went back to her after all she has put him thru! She is the one who needs to be locked up! Now lets state some facts: When Vans youngest son was in the hospital in Las Vegas. He came up here to be with his son! She jumped in her Hyundai while her little girl had the flu & was vomiting, to stalk a man that was living with another woman ! At this time they were NOT together! We had a family get together in Vegas in 2010! They came up here to send time with my dad! All of the adult were playin a board game called scataries! There was a Question about what do you dream of! my cuzin said he dreams of kiiling his boss! She said she dreams of killing kids! & she does Not have her child anymore! Therefore there are 3 sides to this his, hers & the GODS TRUTH!!!!!!
Mike B April 11, 2012 at 05:40 PM
You people defending him must be from another planet...
I bet U wanna know April 11, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Why is no one talking about how this girl has a child that she has only part time visitation rights to??????? I got her on video tape going CRAZY on him for asking her to give him a minute to ask a friend for a favor! no one talks about how much Physical abuse a woman puts on a man it would be un manly :(
I bet U wanna know April 11, 2012 at 07:55 PM
you must Sympathize with DIRTY COPS & GAY PRIEST.... you sound like a potential
I bet U wanna know April 11, 2012 at 07:56 PM
you must Sympathize with DIRTY COPS & GAY PRIEST.... you sound like a potential
jessica lanes April 12, 2012 at 05:04 AM
100!!!!
Willie Peter April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM
destiny [sic], I need you to use your adult english language skills and make use of peroids. Otherwise you are typing run-on sentences, and those are hard to read with clarity. Oh, and comma's and apostrophe's too. Also, if you will, why did you use quotation marks on your whole response to aquarious? You have to know that those imply that you're quoting something that was said by another person right? Let's do better. (I only mean for you do better when I say that)
Troy - God's son & VJ's Friend April 12, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Sorry things went for the worst....I know VJ, love VJ like a brother and i just hope that you don't pass judgment. Let GOD do his JOB. 2-sides of every story, seems like there is alot of evidence that will be brought to life. Sorry about that dude that tried to help. The lesson we have learned is that everyone has a boiling point and people need not to find joy in provoking people into an unnatural character. Pray for both sides. FREE VJ
T Martinez April 12, 2012 at 05:57 PM
It is nice to know that idiots still exist in our society and they never let us down. They are strictly here to amuse or excite us. Either you must not have taken courses in the social sciences or humanities in college, or you never made it that far, or you are attempting to stir people up. Statements of criminals defending criminals is absurd. Is a juror a criminal if he/she doesn't find enough evidence to find someone guilty? Is a public defender a criminal because their client isn't convicted? Other idiotic statements including, him being defended by others because of ethnic/racial ties is proposterous. Usually, the race argument comes to play when officers are accused of unfair treatment. Other than for Mr. Moncrief, race wasn't discussed and his wife and supporters identities werent revealed. I believe Mr. Moncrief committed a crime(s) and he will have to serve his time. Do I know what happened? No. I only know what the media is framing for us. The media frames issues such as this to lure people in to being a viewer and to further divide our society. Start paying more attention and think about things before excrement pours out of your mouth as words or through your writtings. No, i have never hit a woman or elderly person, and never will. My record is clean and i help little old ladies across the street. If you reply please have reasonable arguments. Oh, i forgot, once i got two tickets in the same week for an illegal u-turn and j-walking. That may discredit me.
William Larkin April 12, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I am this man's god-brother and he has been my best friend my entire life this is completely out of his character and we do not know the events that led to this altercation so please do not labels this man as a thug, if you do not know the whole story I to am active duty army and this man is a model soldier and friend so before you judge just know that this is a good man who had been through a lot.
William Larkin April 12, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Your facts are completely wrong I have heard this women beg for Van to take her back many times and I told him that she was a cancer to him and he should stay away from her but it was him being a fool taken her back and all her so called independence was thank to my god bro's hard work so please don't put false information out there....AND at this traumatic child hood were you there because I was so please do not speak on that... thank you
Fam April 12, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I know him well, maybe not as well as most of you but pretty well. Given the facts that this man “came up tough", is a father, served country, turned his life around, was “on the right track", and "I don’t believe that this is in his character"...the ONLY thing that I can say is…you NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER let a woman (or “love”) affect your ability to discern that which is rational. It is my earnest belief that he "gave this woman too much power”. I don't know her but know that she is supposedly beautiful/loving/bitch blah blah blah the point is he was “happy" with her or would not have stayed. However, by investing so much of himself in her, he empowered her to take away his cognitive-control permitting him to cast rationale out the window. Call it manipulation, love, anger, revenge...the point is (to play devil's advocate) I would leave my woman LONG before empowering her to a point that she is able to blur my vision of rationale. Because once rationale is gone...next is love, morality, and ultimately care for ANYTHING. All said, wrong is wrong but there HAS to be more to this story (PTSD???) so as the saying goes hold your pre-judgments.
William Larkin's sister April 13, 2012 at 12:59 AM
ERIC you have very personal and detailed information...as though you were the one in the relationship with him.....hmmmm! is your name really Eric? I have known this man all his life and I very well know what kind of man/father he is. Eric exactly how long have you known him?...because I certainly have never seen /heard of, or met you. I don't condone violence in any way...and choking you.... ...I mean his wife was wrong.....and he knows this! if only I could turn back the hands of time....when he left "his wife" and their dysfunctional marriage and made him move on!!!!! we wouldn't be reading any of this.
William Larkin April 13, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Eric lol whoever you really are you need to stop lying you (Somalya) need to stop lying to the world and yourself and know that you are a demon and a cancer to the world and accept that the lies you have told are the reason that these things have happen and know that karma is a bitch
April April 13, 2012 at 03:05 AM
This G-nette's son Troy?... If so, VJ wants to know how he can get in contact with you?...
concerned citizen April 13, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Yep, and you sure are an idiot!
TruthTeller April 13, 2012 at 05:27 PM
When a woman beats on a man time after time, and constantly tries to play victim, ultimately shes going to get choked...if VJ wanted to harm the bitch, he would have done some serious damage, he is a black belt...Ive witnessed the damage this woman has done to him, including punching him, and ripping off his door handle, what type of lunatic rips off a door handle. He doesnt want her anymore and now she is out to ruin him, I hope super k mart can pay those bill Somalya bc your ass is about to be without a car, health insurance and apartment, and that job at bank of america once everyone finds out you been sexin up your supervisor, you damn lunatic nympho...just wait...once the police interview VJ's son, they will know that he never kidnapped you, or did any other the other crap you claim he did to you. What type of lunatic accuses their father of rape, and then shows up with him to events? Somalya Garrett...thats who.
NoJusticeNopeace951 April 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM
FYI -aquarious- is the alleged choked person. She (Somalya) should just post her name it is pretty obvious.
NoJusticeNopeace951 April 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM
FYI -Eris- is also the alleged choked person. She (Somalya) should just post her name it is pretty obvious
NoJusticeNopeace951 April 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Why did you marry him if it had a record and all these issues ?
NoJusticeNopeace951 April 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM
None of his actions were the best actions to take, but truely he had gone mad at this point. I truly believed he choked the sh*t out of this damaged woman out of frustration, but I don't think he was wrong.
ItIsWhatItIs April 15, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Its Funny how Some of you all say dnt pass judgment nd just leave it up to GOD! but then turn around and BASH the female victim and speak HIGHLY of the accused!!! if you all really think about it, the way you all feel about her does not matter to the judge, all he/she is going to look at, is the damage that has been done, take all the whitness reports, listen to the dispatch calls that were made, and the phone calls/emails (if any)that were made that led up to all that took place. everyone is responsible for their own actions at the end of the day, WRONG is WRONG!!!! it is good that he has a good supprt system family should support family, but one of the problems in the world is that some families dont like to face facts when a negative action accures that deserves consequences, they often find their way defending him/her labeling them as such a good person. all i know is that some ppl are the greatest person to the public, but are someone else behind closed doors, which is often the life style of abusers, because they dnt want everyone to know how they really get down. and to all those that are slandering her name, might want to be careful cause if she is smart at all she can print this all out take it to the court, cause that is an offense, i have family that works with/for the legal system so i know how it works. i pray that she gets herself together and he is a changed man once he gets out of jail.
Mariana Zuelsdorf April 15, 2012 at 07:42 PM
One way or another, everyone must take responsibility for their actions..good or bad. For whatever reason, Mr Moncrief reacted violently, putting his wife, himself and others in danger. Calling people degrading names isn't the solution. What a sad situation; no one wants to see their loved ones, or friends, in trouble but violence is never a good reaction to a problem.
Sylvia :) May 19, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Doesn't matter that he was out of character or she must have done or said something to upset him ,to hell with him! just because he served in the service doesn't give him the right to choke someone then harm an innocent man and steal his car from him.I agree with James Tucker keep him away from your kids,i would not ever want to be around him,he is a psycho
Sylvia :) May 19, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Yeah it's too bad,, i agree with you,what a coward beating on his wife!!!But with this stupid system we have he will get put in for a few months, then he will get out, and most likely finish her off.
Not R Call May 23, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Both Van and Somalya have issues. Both love eachother in a sick way.....He and she both keep going back to the other....no matter who threw the first punch or the last.... No matter what he has went through or what she has went through it is obvious they both need help. Van is exactly who you guys say he is good or bad. Bottom line NO one is their when it is just the two of them...NO one knows the entire story. What we do know is that they both have baggage.....a lot of it!!!! But they BOTH continue to deal with the drama that comes along with it. They have no kids together.....they both could have left a long time ago.....stuff was wrong way from the begining. THEY choose to stay together....they choose to BOTH go against court orders...I don't even think she knows why she loves him so much. I don't know what keeps Van coming back time and time again. Maybe this was God's only way of ending this craziness. Its is a horrible cycle of violence.....both mental and physical and both are accountable.......This case is gonna have to be left for a jury to decide. They BOTH could have ended up dead that day. Thank God neither of them died.
Keke June 10, 2012 at 08:21 AM
Vj u are in my prayers..
Lakena June 29, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Vj I love you and your going to get through this.. God is good all the time no matter what seem impossible to man is possible for God.. Love you always and forever The Real MrsM..

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