On Friday, November 25, 2022, Rialto Police Department patrol officers investigated a robbery that occurred in the 300 block of North Eucalyptus Avenue. The 19-year-old victim reported the suspect, who was later identified as Manuel Barajas, physically attacked him and stole approximately $9,000.00 worth of jewelry and electronics. During the incident Barajas pointed a handgun at the victim’s head and threatened to kill him. Barajas fled from the location before police arrived, however an investigation was conducted and a criminal report was completed. Criminal charges were later filed by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, and as a result Barajas was arrested on February 20, 2023. Barajas was later released with a promise to appear in court at a later time. Barajas failed to appear for that court date, and a felony warrant was issued for his arrest. Additionally, a parole violation warrant was issued based on Barajas’ status on state parole for PC 215(a) – carjacking.
On Saturday, September 2, 2023, Rialto Police Department Officers learned of Barajas’ potential whereabouts and began efforts to take him into custody once again. At approximately 1:54 p.m. officers observed Barajas in the 4000 block of North Sierra Way driving a black 2016 Kia Optima. Officers conducted a high-risk traffic stop on Barajas’ vehicle knowing Barajas used a firearm in the commission of the original robbery and could potentially be armed again. Barajas failed to comply with officers and fled on foot through the parking lot of a crowded shopping center. As Barajas fled, officers deployed their department issued Conducted Energy Weapons (Tasers). Barajas fell to the ground, injuring himself, and continued to resist officers’ attempts to take him into custody. Following his arrest, a search of Barajas and his vehicle was conducted, however no firearm was located.
Barajas suffered a laceration to his forehead as well as other minor abrasions and contusions on his arms and legs. Medical services were immediately dispatched to the scene for Barajas, who was transported by paramedics to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. Upon release from the hospital, Barajas is set to be booked into the West Valley Detention Center for his outstanding warrants related to the original PC 211 – Robbery, as well as his parole violation. Additionally, one Rialto Police Department officer suffered several abrasions while struggling to take Barajas into custody, and was treated by paramedics on scene.
The Rialto Police Department requests that anyone with information about this incident contact Lt. Rocky Johnson at (909) 820-2629. Witnesses can also anonymously report information through WeTip at (800) 782-7463, reference case #932310012.