CHP: Orange County High-Speed Chase Ends In Encinitas

A high-speed police chase that began Tuesday in Orange County came to an end about 45 minutes later on an Encinitas freeway ramp, where the fleeing motorist crashed to a halt and was arrested.

The pursuit started in Laguna Beach about 7:30 a.m., when Nioel Banuelos of San Gabriel allegedly refused to yield to officers who tried to stop him in connection with a residential burglary that been reported minutes earlier in the seaside town, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Banuelos, who was driving a 1987 Honda Civic, sped off in the direction of Dana Point before entering Interstate 5 and continuing to flee to the south at speeds exceeding 110 mph, CHP public affairs Officer Eric Newbury said.

Just before 8 a.m., the 41-year-old man entered San Diego County, and Oceanside-based Highway Patrol personnel took over the chase from Laguna police and Orange County sheriff's deputies.

Near La Costa Avenue in southern Carlsbad, Banuelos encountered slow-moving traffic ahead of him and crossed from the far-left hand lane of the freeway to the right-hand shoulder, then turned around and drove to the north up a southbound onramp, according to Newbury.

At that point, a patrolman was able to use his cruiser to nudge the back end of the vehicle in such a way that it spun around and skidded to a stop, the officer said.

Following that enforcement maneuver, known by the acronym PIT -- for pursuit-intervention technique -- officers were able to arrest the driver without further incident. No injuries were reported.

"Laguna Beach police arrived shortly after the termination of the pursuit and took custody of Banuelos," Newbury said.

The freeway entrance where the chase ended was closed for about 90 minutes to allow for investigations and cleanup.