Woman accused in pursuit that ended in Escondido crash arraigned

EL CAJON, Calif. - An East County woman was arraigned Friday on two felony charges and five misdemeanor counts for allegedly leading authorities on a high-speed chase late Tuesday evening.

Nicole Antonucci, 34, was charged with vehicle theft and driving under the influence. Her bail was set at $125,000.

According to prosecutors, Antonucci stole a late-model Infiniti M45 from a 7-Eleven parking lot in El Cajon. The car was parked with the key in the ignition as the owner ran inside for a cup of coffee, authorities said.

The owner called 911 after seeing Antonucci drive away, prosecutors said. Law enforcement officers spotted the car on Interstate 8 and pursued it.

Authorities said Antonucci refused to pull over, and at times the pursuit exceeded 140 mph.

The car made its way into the Escondido area, and then rolled several times on Interstate 15.

No other vehicles were involved and no one seriously hurt.

Deputy District Attorney Gordon Paul Davis said, "The chase went all the way from El Cajon to Escondido, where she flipped the car, going the wrong way on Highway 15. She was eventually extracted from the vehicle after a struggle with three CHP officers."

Antonucci was booked into county jail at Las Colinas. She suffered some minor injuries.

"Thank God she didn't kill herself. I was so worried about that," Antonucci's sister, Lori Ramirez, told 10News outside the county courthouse in El Cajon.

Ramirez said her sister has a history of mental illness, often roaming the streets and trying to self-medicate.

"I'm trying to bail her out right now. She needs to be home for Christmas, be with her family. She doesn't have anybody else but me, and now the bail has been [raised] and so I'm going to go home and struggle to get as much as I can to get her home. I miss her so much," Ramirez said.


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