Local News

Alleged kidnapper leads police on chase

LA MESA, Calif. — A San Carlos man was jailed Sunday for allegedly kidnapping another man in La Mesa and forcing him at gunpoint to lead police on a brief vehicle chase through San Diego streets.

The 41-year-old victim called La Mesa police shortly after 3:30 pla-mesa-police.m. Saturday, but pretended he was talking to a friend, police said. He surreptitiously told a dispatcher he was being held at gunpoint in a black Ford Expedition by his passenger, later identified by police as Leonard Houser, 29, police said.

He told dispatchers they were headed west on University Avenue near Parks Avenue, and kept them updated on his location, according to La Mesa police Lt. Ray Sweeney.

A San Diego police helicopter spotted the SUV near Chollas Parkway and 54th Street, and La Mesa police officers rushed to the location, Sweeney said. However, the suspect told the driver not to yield to officers and that he had the gun pointed at him, according to the lieutenant.

The driver eventually stopped at a gas station near Geneva at Euclid avenues in Southeast San Diego’s Emerald Hills neighborhood, and police detained both men without further incident, Sweeney said.

Officers found a pellet gun in the passenger side of the SUV. The victim was not injured, according to police.

Houser was arrested and was later booked into San Diego Central Jail for suspicion of kidnapping, according to police and jail records.

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