Man accused of shooting at car occupied by ex-wife, male passenger
A Strathmore man accused of shooting at a car occupied by his ex-wife and her male passenger has been arrested.
The suspect, identified as 23-year-old Miguel Angel Valencia, is being held at the Tulare County Main Jail on suspicion of attempted murder.
The incident happened about 11:40 p.m. Saturday in the area of Morton Avenue and Main Street. The Porterville Police Department reports that the alleged victim dialed 911 and told dispatchers that she and her male passenger were being chased by her ex-husband on Main Street.
When officers arrived, they found the woman’s car off the road and in a dirt field at Main Street and North West Grand Avenue. Police said they contacted the woman, who reported that her passenger had fled from the car prior to their arrival, but that he later returned to the scene. She also said she and her male passenger were traveling on Morton Avenue approaching Main Street when Valencia pulled up next to them in a green Honda Accord and fired three bullets at her car, shattering the passenger window.
The woman then fled northbound on Main Street with Valencia chasing her, causing her to run off the road and collide into a sign post.
Police said the male passenger thought the suspect was shooting at him so he fled from the woman’s car. The Porterville Police Department reports that Valencia stopped briefly at the scene of the crash and made threatening statements to the occupants. Valencia fled the area prior to officers arriving at the crash scene.
Neither the woman nor her male passenger were injured as a result of the shooting and only minor injuries were reported from the crash.
After finding evidence on Main Street, detectives were called to assist with the investigation.
Detectives searched areas in Strathmore in an attempt to locate Valencia and later notified surrounding authorities to be on the lookout for Valencia and to contact the police department if he was found. At about 7 a.m. Sunday morning, a deputy with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department spotted Valencia’s car parked in the driveway of a home in the 23000 block of Lawson Avenue in Strathmore. The deputy contacted the PPD and detectives with the PPD’s Special Investigations Unit responded.
Detectives were able to obtain an arrest warrant for Valencia and a search warrant for the home. The PPD’s SWAT team was called to serve the warrants due to the nature of the crime and detectives considering Valencia as being armed and dangerous, police said.
Police said that when SWAT officers arrived, they contacted Valencia and persuaded him to surrender peacefully.
They later served the search warrant and Valencia was arrested.