|Murrieta, California - On 07-18-13 at almost midnight, a concerned citizen contacted the Murrieta Police Department regarding a suspicious vehicle driving through the businesses area near Elm Street and Jefferson Avenue. The citizen believed the subjects in the vehicle were casing the closed businesses prior to attempting a burglary.|
Just after midnight, a Murrieta police officer located the suspicious vehicle travelling southbound Jefferson Avenue, approaching Elm Street, with a large screen television in the bed of the truck. The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle to investigate further but the driver of the vehicle failed to yield. The vehicle fled at a high rate of speed with its headlights off, running numerous red lights and stop signs.
Officers followed the vehicle as it drove into the dirt field at the far east end of Corning Place. As the vehicle came to a stop due to the rough terrain, two passengers, identified as Michael Holliday and Jason Martinez, attempted to exit the vehicle and flee on foot.
The driver, later identified as Jason Norton, suddenly began to drive in reverse, clipping Holliday and dragging him under the vehicle for approximately 50 feet. Martinez immediately surrenders but Norton fled on foot through the open field. A thorough search was conducted of the area with the assistance of C.H.P., U.S. Border Patrol and a helicopter from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. Despite the search Norton was not immediately located.
Holliday was treated at the scene by Murrieta Fire personnel and subsequently transported to Inland Valley Hospital with serious injuries. Martinez was detained pending further investigation and found to be on probation. Officers conducted a probation compliance search at Martinez’ residence in Murrieta and located Norton inside. Norton had numerous fresh scratches on his arms consistent with running through thick wooded brush.
He was positively identified as the driver who fled and placed under arrest. Norton was found to be on Post Release Community Supervision (AB-109). Additionally, 2.4 ounces of methamphetamine and a lock picking set was located in the vehicle’s passenger compartment.