By Gina Yarbrough
SAN DIEGO–California Highway Patrol arrested a local transit Wednesday in connection with a freeway shooting that left a female college student wounded and damaged a passing vehicle.
Dragasits, a former Bronx, New York resident, was taken into custody at the Wal-Mart on Clairemont Mesa. Authorities said he did not resist arrest.
At a news conference Thursday, California Highway Patrol Capt. Rich Stewart said a dashboard surveillance video from a passing motorist and DNA found on a bullet casing linked the suspect to the crime.
Capt. Stewart said a .22 long bullet found on SR 163 revealed those shell casings were fired from a Winchester 190 rifle. Authorities are still searching for the rifle.
Investigators said the Dragasits has been a person of interests early on during the investigation. He was under surveillance a week prior to his arrest.
“There has been physical evidence that we have obtain that place Mr. Dragasits at the scene at the time and date of the shooting,” said Capt. Stewart.
Capt. Stewart said the suspect told investigators he was a former Navy man and former employee of the County of San Diego.
“That’s all we really have on him at this point. The investigation is continuing,” said Capt. Stewart.
Investigators obtained a search warrant of the RV and found additional physical evidence linked to the crime. Investigators decline to say what type of evidence.
Capt. Stewart said Dragasits was arrested last March and convicted of throwing rocks onto the freeway. “That was one of the key pieces of information that led us to him,” he said.
On April 5, a 21-year-old University of San Diego student was shot on the freeway near Clairmont Mesa Blvd. while traveling southbound to her morning class. The bullet traveled through her Toyota Matrix rear door striking her abdomen.
On the day of the incident, CHP shutdown SR 163 between Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Balboa Avenue to collect physical evidence connected to the shooting. During their investigation, CHP found five shell cases and additional casings on the ground.
The next day, a Rancho Bernardo man traveling on the same freeway the morning of the shooting, contacted CHP after finding a bullet hole on his vehicle.
Dragasits was arraigned Thursday afternoon in a San Diego court on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder. He was denied bail.