Motor home pursuit starting in San Diego ends with police standoff in San Clemente

Photo by John Schreiber.

The driver of a motor home that San Diego police were trying to impound led officers on a chase Thursday to San Clemente, where he surrendered after a brief standoff on the side of the northbound San Diego (5) Freeway.

The standoff ended with a woman and two dogs detained in a California Highway Patrol car and a handcuffed man being treated by paramedics, according to footage from ABC10 in San Diego. Before that, CHP officers had surrounded the recreational vehicle with guns drawn.

The freeway was closed in both directions for about 30 minutes starting just before 5 a.m. as morning rush-hour began to build along the busy corridor between Orange County and San Diego County, the CHP said. All southbound lanes reopened about 5:20 a.m., while three northbound lanes reopened about 10 minutes later.

The man, in his early 60s, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, said CHP Officer Monica Posada. His name was not immediately released.

The chase began about 3:40 a.m. in the 2800 block of Mission Bay Drive in Pacific Beach, San Diego police Officer Tony Martinez said. Police had contacted the occupants of the motor home about 2:20 a.m. for being parked illegally and having expired registration.

A San Diego police officer told dispatchers she was holding the driver’s licenses of both the man and the woman when they jumped back into the recreational vehicle and sped away. She reported the driver was a man licensed out of Arkansas and the woman was licensed in California.

Officers were preparing to impound the RV when the occupants fled, Martinez said. San Diego officers chased the motor home northbound on Interstate 5 at roughly 75 mph for about 20 minutes until CHP officers took over the pursuit and asked SDPD units to drop out.

Somewhere near the northern boundary of San Diego County, CHP officers used spike strips to disable the RV, ABC10 reported. Officers with guns drawn then surrounded the motor home and closed the freeway.

About 20 minutes later, a woman emerged and was taken into custody, while two dogs were also put in the back of a CHP cruiser. ABC10 footage showed a handcuffed man flanked by two officers who appeared woozy but showed no outward injuries as paramedics began to check on him.

—City News Service