CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - An auto theft suspect led officers on a nearly 40-minute freeway chase from National City to the Camp Pendleton area Tuesday before crashing a stolen pickup truck and getting arrested, authorities reported.
The pursuit, during which a California Highway Patrol cruiser also was involved in a non-injury wreck, began about 2:30 a.m., when a San Diego police officer spotted the 2008 Toyota Tundra on Interstate 5, near Civic Center Drive in National City, CHP public-information Officer Jim Bettencourt said.
The driver and sole occupant of the pickup truck refused to yield, speeding off to the south, then exiting at Palm Avenue and re-entering the northbound side of the interstate, according to Bettencourt.
The suspect -- later identified as 23-year-old Deaundray Jamar Frazier -- allegedly fled at speeds exceeding 100 mph through San Diego and into the North County as the Highway Patrol took over the chase.
Near Las Flores Drive in Carlsbad, the fleeing man ran over a spike strip that officers had laid across the traffic lanes, but continued speeding to the north despite driving on two flattened tires, Bettencourt said.
Moments later, a CHP squad car also rolled over the rubber-shredding device as officers were trying to pull it off the roadway, then veered out of control and smashed into the freeway's center-divider wall. Though the wreck caused extensive damage to the cruiser, the two officers inside were unharmed, the spokesman said.
The pursuit continued until shortly after 3 a.m., when the disabled pickup swerved out of control, veered off the east side of the freeway near the Aliso Creek Rest Area, went down an embankment and crashed to a halt. Officers then arrested Frazier, who also managed to avoid injury.
Frazier was booked into county jail in Vista on suspicion of auto theft and felony evasion of police. He was being held on $50,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.