ESCONDIDO–A 21 year-old male driver, who led law enforcement officers on a freeway chase on Highway 76 and Interstate 15, was arrested Wednesday for auto theft, felony evading, and assault with a deadly weapon.
The driver, Jesus Estrada, is on probation, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman says.
A Sheriff’s detective was driving on Valley Center Grade and saw a blue Honda CRV he knew was stolen from Escondido. The detective followed until patrol deputies caught up and signaled for the driver to stop. The driver refused to stop and a pursuit began northbound on Cole Grade Road, through a construction site, nearly hitting workers, before driving to Highway 76, and toward I-15 where a Sheriff’s ASTREA Helicopter and CHP joined in. A deputy used a spike strip to disable the vehicle’s front driver’s side tire as the driver turned onto South I-15.
The Sheriff’s Canine Unit was training nearby and several K-9 deputies converged on the pursuit scene as the driver of the vehicle stopped, in the middle of the freeway, about a quarter mile south of Highway 76, and ran. A Sheriff’s K-9 handler sent his dog after the suspect and was caught and arrested. He was driven by ambulance to Palomar Hospital for treatment of dog bites before being booked into Vista Detention Facility.