Past crimes revealed for parolee arrested in PSPD pursuit

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The Palm Springs Police Department arrested a wanted parolee at the end of a high-speed chase in Palm Springs that ended on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation Tuesday afternoon.

And now KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 have learned about the man's former crimes in the Coachella Valley; one of which occurred at the same home where an elderly man was found dead Tuesday morning, just hours before the police chase began. 

30-year-old Jonathan Flora was arrested and charged in the 1600 block of South Palm Canyon Drive, officers with the Palm Springs Police Department said. Three other suspects who were in the car during the pursuit were released. 

And KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 is learning more about Flora's criminal record in the Coachella Valley. We learned he was charged with felony burglary and assault in 2009 at the same home where an elderly man was found murdered on Tuesday morning, hours before the police pursuit began in south Palm Springs. 

Police released a statement late Wednesday acknowledging the connection between Flora and the homicide victim, but stressed that no arrests had yet been made in the man's murder.

KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2's Zak Dahlheimer met with police Wednesday morning. 

Sgt. William Hutchinson with the Palm Springs Police Department said Flora is also facing charges of false imprisonment and kidnapping for Tuesday's police pursuit. “The kidnapping and false imprisonment charges stem from potentially his failure to let the occupants that were with him in the vehicle at the time, out of the vehicle,” 

KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 is learning more about the suspect and his past criminal record in the Coachella Valley. He was arrested in 2009 for felony burglary and assault at a Palm Springs home. 


Flora was spotted driving a vehicle with three other occupants inside, police said. When officers attempted to stop the vehicle, a chase ensued. Flora traveled southbound on Palm Canyon and reached speeds of 90 mph
before traveling onto the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, where the vehicle came to a rest near the reservation's trading post, police said.

Watch: PSPD arrests 4 suspects after high-speed chase

The pursuit ended at about 1:20 p.m.  

Members of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians fully cooperated with the PSPD during this incident and all four occupants of the vehicle were detained, police said. After several interviews, the other occupants were identified and released and Flora was expected to be booked on felony charges to include a parole hold, police said.

Flora has prior felony convictions for making criminal threats and burglary, according to court records. He is expected to appear in court Thursday.

KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2's Joe Galli went to three separate scenes Tuesday afternoon during the initial investigation. Police were searching the Vagabond Inn on South Palm Canyon Drive, where it was believed that the four suspects were inside before the pursuit began. 

KESQ and CBS Local 2 will deliver updates as the case moves forward. 

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