Action News has learned 34-year-old Joshua Moynier is not only the suspect in the chase, but he's also listed at the number one suspected identity thief in the city of Fresno, a list that was just released Tuesday.
Clovis police say Moynier is in custody now and should stay locked up since he's now being charged with violent crimes. Unlike before, with his history of identity theft, which allowed for an early jail release due to AB109.
And investigators say that release led to the mess in Central Fresno.
"I had my daughter with me and she's so scared. She started crying," Rigo Vasquez said. Vasquez came within inches of being seriously hurt or killed by the suspect. The front end of his pickup truck, he says, was clipped by Moynier's SUV.
"He almost hit a couple ladies walking with their kids," Vasquez said. "They tell me, oh he just take off running."
The SUV destroyed a bus stop, a city street light and the large sign to Belmont Burgers. The owner tells Action News incredibly Moynier ran off after rolling the Hyundai several times.
"They get out from the car, and the people keep yell at him don't run your head is bleeding," Cheam Chiv said. "And he kept going."
Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Moynier several blocks away. Investigators say he has a long criminal record that is growing quickly.
"Our department, our investigators were working an active case with him with identity theft and some fraud," Lt. Alex Campos of the Clovis Police Department said. "It turns out the sheriff's department was working on him and so was the Fresno Police Department."
Police say the incident began in Clovis at Fairmont and Willow, where Moynier ran a stop sign. The pursuit began and quickly ended because of heavy traffic. The sheriff's department helicopter followed Moynier onto the highway.
Witnesses say he nearly crashed several times on Highway 180, where he drove the wrong way. Police say he also attempted to hit a deputy's vehicle head-on.
"It appears the suspect actually came at him so the deputy had to take some evasive action," Lt. Campos said. "Had he not moved, obviously that would be assault with that vehicle so that classifies with what we call assault with a deadly weapon."
In addition to being listed as Fresno's top ID thief by Fresno Police, Moynier is also suspected in several fraud and burglary cases.
The Clovis Police Department released the follow statement to Action News:
AB 109er Wanted for a Variety of Crimes Prompts Short Pursuits
Shortly after 3 o'clock this afternoon, Clovis Police pulled over 34-year-old Joshua Moynier after he ran a stop sign at Fairmont and Willow. Following the stop, Moynier sped off. Clovis Police officers initiated a short pursuit, but called it off at Peach and Gettysburg due to the number of cars on the road. Moynier is wanted for a variety of crimes in Clovis, Fresno, and Fresno County.
The Fresno County Sheriff's Department offered air support, and a deputy picked up the pursuit on westbound on Freeway 168 where the suspect tried to run into his vehicle. The Sheriff's Department discontinued the pursuit for the publics' safety when Moynier got onto Freeway 180 and was driving the wrong way near Belmont. The deputy blew a tire on a curb as he tried to stop the fleeing Moynier. The Highway Patrol took the suspect into custody in the vicinity of Madison and Rowell in Fresno when he rolled his Hyundai Santa Fe on an off ramp. Paramedics transported Moynier to Community Regional Medical Center due to injuries he sustained in the wreck.
Moynier was arrested for felony evading, AB 109, Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a deputy, and a host of open felony charges including fraud and burglary.