At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, Chula Vista police observed what they thought was a narcotics sale, according to police radio traffic. CVPD officers got behind a suspect car at East Palomar and Nacion Avenue and then attempted to do a traffic stop. The driver refused to pull over and officers gave chase. The suspects led police onto the northbound I-805 via the L Street onramp. The officers observed the suspects throwing what looked like narcotics out of the window while the car entered the freeway.
The driver, who didn’t drive faster than 50 miles per hour while police were in pursuit, finally yielded to officers just north of the Bonita Road exit on the northbound I-805. He was taken into custody and officers found two handguns in the car. But before that happened and before police could approach the car, the passenger tried to get away on foot, via the Sweetwater River, about 500 yards south of the Plaza Bonita Mall.
National City PD, San Diego PD, and an ABLE helicopter were called in to assist in the search. Police set up a perimeter around the Sweetwater River area and shut down parts of the freeway around the Plaza Bonita Mall. Three teams of K-9 officers and three teams of officers armed with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles searched the Sweetwater River valley. An extensive search did not yield the passenger suspect.
When the freeways reopened at approximately 5:30 p.m., they were backed up for the rest of the evening.
According to a press release from the Chula Vista Police Department, the driver was a 33-year-old male resident of Chula Vista. He was booked into the San Diego County Jail, charged with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, evading a police officer, and possible narcotic-related charges.
The driver was in possession of a .45 caliber semi-automatic and a .38 caliber revolver. The officers stated that the firearms were not loaded.