A parolee who allegedly exchanged gunfire with Hemet police officers at the end of a car chase was charged this week with attempted murder of a peace officer and other felonies, authorities said.
Rafarel Rodriguez Diaz, 24, was arrested Monday following a confrontation with officers that culminated in a brief shootout.
Along with the attempted murder count, Diaz is charged with reckless driving, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and sentence- enhancing gun use allegations. He also a prior strike on his record.
Diaz pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Wednesday before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Judith Clark at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. Clark set Diaz's bail at $1.2 million and scheduled a felony settlement conference for Feb. 5.
Diaz is being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
According to Hemet police, around 2:30 a.m. Monday, officers attempted to pull Diaz over in the area of Devonshire Avenue and Mayflower Street for an alleged vehicle code violation.
Officers alleged Diaz sped away, going south on Devonshire at speeds topping out at 75 mph.
Diaz lost control of the car and wrecked near the intersection of Johnston Avenue and York Street, according to police.
"As officers approached the vehicle, there was an exchange of gunfire, and the suspect was wounded," according to a police department statement. "After a brief standoff, he was taken into custody."
Diaz was taken to a hospital for treatment of a minor wound, then booked into jail, police said.
No officers were injured.
According to court records, Diaz has prior felony convictions for vandalizing utility equipment, making criminal threats and burglary.
— City News Service.