SPRING VALLEY (CNS) - A juvenile driving a stolen minivan led deputies on a 15-minute East County road chase Tuesday before bailing out of the still- rolling vehicle near Sweetwater Reservoir and making a failed attempt to escape on foot.
The chase began shortly after 8:30 a.m., when a deputy spotted the occupied van in the area of Bancroft Drive and Troy Street in Spring Valley and determined that it had been reported missing by the operators of a group home in the area on Monday, according to sheriff's officials.
When the deputy tried to pull him over, the boy behind the wheel of the stolen vehicle drove off and refused to yield, Sgt. Scott Roller said. The youth sped to the south and east over various streets before jumping out of the moving vehicle in a school zone on La Presa Avenue and fleeing on foot.
The suddenly driverless minivan continued traveling down the street briefly, then crashed to a halt against a jersey wall. Deputies caught up with the underage suspect a short time later and took him into custody.
The boy, whose name was withheld because he is a minor, was taken to a hospital for evaluation of minor injuries he suffered while trying to outrun the pursuing patrol personnel, Roller said.
The sergeant declined to release the suspect's age, citing ongoing investigation in the case.