Pursuit, Money Scattered Along Freeway Causes Gridlock

Two men were in custody after throwing tens of thousands of dollars out a window while leading officers on a circuitous road chase through San Diego, police said.

The pursuit began about 5 p.m. Thursday in the area of Interstate 15 and Interstate 805 in Mission Valley, where Drug Enforcement Administration agents had the men under surveillance as part of a major drug investigation, according to San Diego police.

The fleeing driver exited southbound I-15 at Ocean View Boulevard in Logan Heights and drove over city streets before re-entering the freeway, this time heading north, police said. Officers chased the truck on the freeway for several miles, then onto Interstate 805 through the city's central districts and into its north-coastal reaches.

In several spots -- including Serra Mesa in the area of Murray Ridge Road and Sorrento Valley near Mira Mesa Boulevard -- cash was hurled out of the truck, prompting passers-by to run onto the roadways to grab it, according to police.

About 40 minutes into the chase, the fleeing driver, who may have run over a tire-flattening spike strip at some point during the chase, stopped in the middle of I-5 near State Route 56. Officers then took the occupants of the pickup into custody, said San Diego police Sgt. Alan Hayward.

The suspects' names and details on their alleged crimes were not immediately available.

Nearly an hour after the pursuit began, officers were still retracing the men's path. More than $17,000 was recovered along the chase route, according to police, who turned the money and the suspects over to the DEA.