CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — A man who fled when deputies tried to pull him over in Dulzura Thursday led a meandering 45-minute pursuit that ended with his arrest at a South Bay church.
"When I was here while he was there and the cops were walking, I was pretty scared,” Father Paul Selvaraj, Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, said.
The chase began about 10:30 a.m. when the man -- the subject of a felony arrest warrant -- refused to yield in the 14000 block of state Route 94 in southeastern San Diego County, according to sheriff's officials.
He fled westbound slowly in a black Nissan Pathfinder into eastern Chula Vista, where he crisscrossed various neighborhoods on city streets, and briefly traversed stretches of SR-125 and Interstate 805, said Lt. Chris Galve.
About 11:15 a.m., the Watch Command from the Sheriff’s Department said the suspect abandoned their vehicle in a park near the church at Fourth Avenue and Oxford Street and took off.
"Absolutely crazy! l mean because he jumped the fence from the back and just complete ran,”said Joyce Mendez, Youth Minister at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church.
Deputies gave chase and quickly took him into custody without further incident.
The department’s Watch Command told ABC 10News the suspect arrested was Jose Espinosa who faces evading arrest charges along with those from the warrant.
Selvarja told ABC 10News that there were roughly 150 to 200 people inside the church at the time for a service.
It wasn’t just a morning mass; it was a funeral for an 11-year-old boy.
"I definitely pray them because I just couldn't imagine that as a parent going through that experience and then having to be at church and having this experience happen to them,” Mendez said.
Selvaraj said that they were able to finish the funeral service after the ordeal.
Afterwards, as Selvaraj processes the situation, he’s glad that the situation didn’t take a turn for the worse.
"Nobody's injured. Nothing happened. Nothing serious happened to worry so, Thank God,” Selvaraj said.