Pursuit Intervention Technique

 Victor Valley to Big Bear Boulevard

San Bernardino County Sheriff * California Highway Patrol


  Sheriff Deputies used the PIT maneuver to stop the wreckless driver.

Law Enforcement responders: Victor Valley Sheriff Deputies Apple Valley Deputies,

Big Bear Sheriff Deputies and California Highway Patrol (Running Springs) 


Victor Valley Sheriff Deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop of a black Honda Civic, in the area of State Route 18 and Bear Valley Cutoff, 3:20 P.M. Thursday April 7th.

The driver of the black Honda 2-door, failed to yield and began driving erratically and crossing into oncoming traffic at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. When the Honda continued westbound on SR-18 into the Town of Apple Valley, Apple Valley Sheriff Deputies then assisted with the pursuit. The driver continued driving in a reckless manner at high rates of speed, passing vehicles, driving on the wrong side of the road, and running red lights.

The vehicle turned into a residential neighborhood and made a u-turn to head eastbound on State Route 18. Deputies followed the vehicle in a moderate to high speed pursuit as it made its way from Apple Valley to Big Bear City, via SR-18 through Lucerne Valley. The pursuit continued at low to moderate rates of speed,  into Baldwin Lake, SR-18 through Fawnskin, then State Route 18 into Big Bear Lake.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Aviation Division assisted with aerial support to track the 2-door black Honda vehicle. The California Highway Patrol was notified of the pursuit and assisted with preparation for spike strip deployment at strategically staged locations.

To ensure public safety on the roadways, deputies slowed their pursuit, but continued to follow and monitor the vehicle, as the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s helicopter 40-King maintained aerial observation. The driver of the Honda, made another u-turn, heading West in the direction of the Big Bear Dam. Spike strips were unsuccessfully deployed and the vehicle continued to make its way down State Route 18 toward Snow Valley.

CHP Officers of the California Highway Patrol, headquartered in Running Springs, staged a road block on SR-18 in the Arctic Circle area. Upon seeing the road block, the driver turned around, once again heading for Big Bear Lake. Spike strips were successfully deployed, deflating all four tires of the vehicle. The driver continued to flee in the black Honda on the flattened tires.

Sheriff Deputies stopped the vehicle at the intersection of State Route 18 and Edgemoor Road in Big Bear Lake, using a successful Pursuit Intervention Technique. The driver refused to comply with demands from the deputies to get out of the vehicle. Deputies made entry into the vehicle and took the suspect into custody.

The suspect was identified as Nioel Banuelos, a resident of Pasadena. A records check confirmed Banuelos is wanted on a no-bail probation violation warrant out of Los Angeles County.

Booking procedures are currently in progress. Additional information will be released as it becomes available. 


Editor E T Russell Note: More information on this incident will be updated as soon as possible.