Ocotillo, California - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Border Patrol Station arrested a man who led agents on a two-hour chase Tuesday night.
The incident occurred at approximately 7:45 p.m. on Highway S2, north of Ocotillo. Border Patrol agents assigned roving patrol, encountered a white Dodge Magnum parked on the side of the highway. Agents approached the driver of the vehicle to conduct an immigration inspection, and observed two passengers in the back seat lying down.
Before contact was made, the driver sped off and drove north on S2. Agents attempted to perform a vehicle stop, but the driver failed to yield to the agents’ lights and sirens. Additional agents responded to assist.
A few minutes into the pursuit, the Dodge slowed abruptly causing the lead pursuit vehicle to swerve to the side of the road. The Dodge, then rammed into the side of the Border Patrol vehicle, forcing it to the shoulder of the road. The pursuit continued as the Dodge stopped and pulled alongside another Border Patrol vehicle. Again, the suspect rammed into that Border Patrol vehicle, this time causing it to crash into a berm, disabling it.
The welfare of the agent who was forced off the road was checked, and the pursuit continued north on Highway S2. Shortly after, agents witnessed the vehicle stop on the side of the highway as two individuals exited and ran into the desert.
Because of the dangerous elements involved, the pursuit was terminated, while assistance from other Border Patrol stations was requested.
Agents from San Diego sector acquired the location of the vehicle traveling on Highway 78 towards Ramona. After following the vehicle to Highway 67 and west on Highway 8, agents attempted another vehicle stop. The Dodge did not yield. The driver then traveled on Highway 125 and southbound on Highway 805 toward Mexico.
Agents performed a successful pursuit interdiction technique (PIT maneuver), and the pursuit came to a safe conclusion at Telegraph Canyon Road in Chula Vista.
The driver, a 28-year-old United States citizen, was taken into custody and will be charged with assault against a federal agent and alien smuggling.
The two female passengers, both citizens of Mexico, were taken into custody and will serve as material witnesses in the smuggling case.
“Border Patrol agents everywhere face dangers like this every day,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David S. Kim. “As we witnessed, this smuggler had no regard for the people he was smuggling, or for the agents pursuing him.”